Many people interested in estate planning often ask whether a trust or a will is better. It’s often surprising to learn that you should have both a last will and testament and a revocable living trust. Although both documents can appoint the person to manage your estate when you are gone and both documents can select the person or people who will receive your estate, the two documents do have some important differences.

If you own real estate property, it is best to have a trust as well as a will. Having your assets in a trust allows your beneficiaries to receive title of your assets through direct transfer with no need for a court order. Without a trust, your beneficiaries will have to go through probate to receive property and assets. No transfer of assets can be made outside of probate court unless a revocable living trust owns the asset.

Revocable living trusts have features that wills do not; however, you cannot designate a guardian for minor children in a trust. This is why having a will that supplements your trust is a better idea than just having one or the other. If you chose to create a living trust, you will also want a pour-over will. This document will allow you to name a guardian for a minor child and provide for the allocation of any property that is not included in your trust.

Trusts do require paperwork and properties that need to be transferred into the trust which may include revising title documents. For help with your Georgia estate-planning needs, call an experienced Peachtree estate-planning lawyer at Shane Smith today at (770) 487-8999.

Shane Smith
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