Why to Have Both a Trust and a Will

Many people in Georgia know just how valuable trusts can be when planning for the future. They are a particularly flexible estate planning tool that can at times provide tax benefits as well as a higher level of control and privacy in determining how assets are to be handled. They also provide specific measures that can help the creator provide for minor children, people with special needs or other individuals who might require higher levels of protection when handling money. However, this does not mean that trusts should be the only estate planning document a person has in place.

Trusts can, of course, transfer the creator’s assets after he or she passes away. In many ways, they are more effective than wills in doing so. They do not need to go through probate and creators can have many different options in how they pass on their belongings. However, trusts only exercise control over the specific assets that have been transferred into the trust itself. Many people transfer large, significant assets to the trust, including real estate holdings or significant sums of money. However, many other assets may remain outside the trust.

In some cases, assets are never properly transferred to the trust to begin with. If no will also exists, the probate court will determine how the assets will be divided. However, a pour-over will can protect a plan by ensuring that all of the estate owner’s assets go into the trust for further distribution.

There are many reasons why people may want to have a will as well as a trust or several trusts in place. An estate planning attorney can provide advice and guidance on developing these key documents to help people determine the future of their assets.

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