At a minimum, your estate plan should consist of a will or a trust. In some cases, both may be necessary to help you achieve your estate planning goals in Florida. Take a look at the key differences between the two documents and what they can do to make sure your affairs are settled in a timely manner.
These documents take effect at different times
A trust takes effect as soon as it is executed while a will doesn’t take effect until after you die. Therefore, creating a trust may be an ideal estate planning decision if you want to make sure that your affairs are managed properly after becoming incapacitated. It’s worth noting that you can appoint someone to serve as your power of attorney in lieu of creating a trust to ensure that your estate is cared for while you’re incapacitated.
Trust assets are held outside of your estate
One of the potential advantages of having a trust as opposed to a will is that trust assets are not held in your estate. Therefore, they are generally not subject to probate. If you have a will, it may be possible to avoid probate by adding a beneficiary to a car, home or financial account. When you pass, the asset will go to that individual after he or she presents your death certificate to the appropriate authorities.
Whether you have a will or a trust, it is important to structure it in accordance with state law. Otherwise, it may be vulnerable to a legal challenge, which could delay or derail your estate plan. Ideally, you will review your plan on a regular basis to ensure that it will stand up in court and guarantee that the language of these documents reflects your true final wishes.