When you are planning your estate, a lot of things come up that you might not completely understand. Wills and trusts are two things that most people have heard of, but when it comes time to make decisions regarding their own, they aren't quite sure what they need and why. Here are some of the basics of wills and trusts so that when you are ready to have your estate plan drafted, you will know more about your needs.

All About Wills

A will...

  • Goes in to effect when you die
  • Determines who will receive assets titled in your sole name when you pass away
  • Appoints a legal professional to be sure everything in your will is carried out
  • Goes through the probate process, so a court oversees the distribution
  • Becomes part of public record, so all your assets and liabilities, as well as the names of all your heirs (even minor children) are released for public viewing.

All About Trusts

A trust...

  • Goes in to effect as soon as it is made
  • Can give out your property whenever you want. You can still be alive for this
  • Can remain private and out of the public record
  • Appoints one or more people to be the trustee
  • Designates beneficiaries
  • Can be helpful in reducing or minimizing estate taxes

One main thing to realize is that you do not have to choose one or the other; wills and trusts can go hand-in-hand when planning your estate.

Wills and trusts come in many forms with rules and provisions that can be complex but very helpful. It is best to contact an experienced Minnesota financial services attorney who focuses on estate planning so that you can get the help that you need.

If you're considering creating a will, establishing a trust, or looking into any other estate planning services, contact Maple Grove attorney Chuck Roulet at (763) 420-5087.

Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker