A will is a legal document that provides for the distribution of all of the property owned by a person upon the person’s death. A trust is a separate legal entity that owns assets and distributes such assets in accordance with the trust document terms.
As Indiana will and trust attorneys, we advise clients on how to best accomplish their estate distribution needs.
Often clients come to us after being told by a friend or family member that they should transfer all of their assets into a trust. Sometimes there is a belief that there will be significant tax benefits, that the trust will be protected from bankruptcy creditors, or that a trust is needed to accomplish certain estate planning goals.
Whether a trust will be beneficial to you depends upon your particular circumstances and your estate planning wishes. For many clients, a will is sufficient to accomplish all of their estate planning desires, and a trust would simply be an added cost and burden. For other clients, a will and trust used together will be the best way to accomplish their financial planning objectives.
In order to understand what is best for your situation, please call our firm so that we can schedule a meeting with you at your convenience to learn about your financial circumstances and distribution wishes.
Often wills and trusts are used in combination to take care of the estate planning needs of an individual or couple. In some cases, it may be desirable for an individual or couple to create a trust, and then to transfer their assets into this trust. These trusts are referred to as a “living trust,” and the trust can be designed to pay for any current needs of the “trustor” or “trustors” (the person or couple creating the trust) during their lifetime.
Upon death, the trust can remain in place and make distributions, sometimes on an annual or other periodic basis, to the beneficiaries of the trust. The assets of the trust can be distributed to the beneficiaries directly, or the assets can be placed in new trusts for the benefit of the specified beneficiaries (such as grandchildren) if they are less than a certain age at the time of death of the trustor(s). If this last option is used, the trust could be used to make periodic payments to the trust beneficiaries until they reach a certain age, upon which time the assets of the trust are distributed to the trust beneficiaries.
If you do not already have an estate plan in place, please call us. When we meet with you and learn about your estate planning needs and the desired distribution of your estate, we can advise you on the best way to achieve your goals. We can then draft the required documents to achieve these purposes.