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Trust vs will? Which one to get?

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I have both. My will details what I want to have happen in the event that I die, and the trust is how my will is executed. The trust, for example, protects my assets if my spouse were to remarry after I died. It means their new wife can’t touch any of the money intended for my husband and my children. It also allows me to set boundaries for how and when my children get the money assigned to them in my will. For example, I wouldn’t want a teen or young adult child to get all the money before they finish college.

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depends on your situation. I am married with two children. My wife is a medical professional who owns her own practice and has lots of debt associated with her practice. She has enough insurance on her biz if she dies the debts will be paid. We both have large term life policies and sizable retirement and brokerage accounts. We live in TX - in TX minors (under 18) can NOT be beneficiaries of life insurance or assets. Our will, life insurance, brokerage accounts, property is setup so that if both my wife and I die and the kids live - our assets are put into trusts for each of them. worth looking into if you have children...

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Trust. Trust avoids probate. Will ensures probate.

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Hi! Im a lawyer in the wrong bowl because I’ve recently gotten more serious about my long term financial planning.
Anyhow- as an attorney I would say that most people probably don’t need a trust.
It’s true trusts will avoid probate. But, unless the assets are quite considerable, the cost of maintaining a trust can oftentimes defeat the purpose because the assets are depleted. If no Will is made, you end up in probate court because the settlor died intestate anyways. (Not to mention intestacy is the real pain in the ass about probate court, as making a Will eliminates the need to establish heirship, etc.)
Another downside to trusts is that the settlor surrenders control of the assets. A living trust may pay you a stipend or handle some expenses for you, but you can’t simply cash the trust.
Wills, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive to make. A very savvy estate planning lawyer will resolve most of the perceived issues with probate within the Will itself.
A properly executed will is quite painless to probate, and just needs a hearing.
Further, you get to keep access to your assets until you pass.
Now, I see I’m talking to PWC and DeLoitte guys, so 7 and 8 figures put into trust might be realistic.

Anyhow, I hope we can all earn enough to justify a trust someday, but I would strongly recommend looking into a Will if you aren’t prepared to seed a trust with beaucoup money. As in, enough that any growth of the assets (less the maintenance fee and any stipends) would be consequential to your heirs.

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Have a family member looking into this and the deciding factor was how estate taxes are handled in each state, types of assets, etc. Consider getting help if your situation is complex - your options will vary depending on your situation.

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Trust. Most of the good ones bake in a pour-over will

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Pour over wills do not avoid probate. Make sure that all your assets are properly titled in the trust and the assets outside of the trust are below the threshold for probate in your state. I know this firsthand from dealing with my wife’s parents estate

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At the very very least you should have a will. If you want to have more control of your estate and avoid probate, having a trust ( or trusts) will allow you to do that.

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This is the only thing I have ever used those Hyatt MetLaw Legal benefit plus that are offered by large employers for. I found an attorney that drafter my revocable trust and will at no out of pocket costs other than $50 in notary fees to have the various forms signed ie will, power of attorney, healthcare directive, etc.

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They’re not mutually exclusive and it’s possible you should create both. Some additional good basics: https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/a129.pdf?2210080142

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Can someone explain what probate means in this context?

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Hi! Lawyer in the wrong bowl here.
Probate is, as the gentleman above states, the court’s process of sorting out an estate. Probate serves to establish heirship, and will allow for settling any debts before assets are distributed for the decedent’s heirs.
A misconception is that probating wills is an exotic, cumbersome process. However a good will, if executed properly, should stand to resolve almost all probate issues.
Estate planning is absolutely crucial for anyone with meaningful assets.

What all should be included in a trust? When is a good time to create one?

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P1, that’s consistent with what I was told. 401k and IRA for me are left to the beneficiary process, with my spouse as primary and the trust as secondary.

Both.

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Why?

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I have both. My attorney created the trust and will/health care power of attorney all together as a package.

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If you know when you are going to die than a trust will do. Otherwise, both are typically advised by competent attorneys. Some states, like FL, have quirks that make having both odd legally though.

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We have a will, living revocable trust, financial power of attorney and a medical directive. Except the trust the other documents are mirrors of each other for me and my wife.

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I was told by my lawyers that it is based on State your are. For me it was will in NJ.

FWIW I think that’s bad advice. It’s true that laws vary somewhat state by state, but broadly speaking, wills and trusts are complementary documents that do different things, not an either/or.

Thank you all for your comments!😊

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