Trust vs Wills: Which suits you best?
Trust and Wills Attorney in Portland, Oregon
We work day and night to ensure the future of our family and loved ones. We save money, we buy properties, we invest in stocks and security bonds and we do just literally everything to provide for them. We make sure they live the best life they could. But is that enough to secure their future? What if one day they woke up and you’re already gone?
Estate planning is equivalent to protecting the lives of your family and loved ones. Luckily, in Portland Oregon, there’s a competent trust and wills attorney who can help you plan for the future. Our lawyers understand that you want what’s best for your family. Whether you need a will, a trust, or both, our credible trust and wills attorney will help you choose your best option. They have a great track record of providing estate planning services to a wide range of clients, particularly in Trust and Wills.
Help us remove the unknowns in your estate planning journey. Consult with our knowledgable trust and wills attorney and let us provide you with comprehensive estate plan strategies.
Why do I need a Trust and Wills Attorney in Oregon?
Protecting your loved ones and properties is not an easy job. You need a knowledgeable trust and wills attorney to help you identify the best asset protection solution suitable for you. Many are probably familiar with what is a will. But do you also understand what is a trust and if it’s important for you to have one? Is having a will enough? Or will you be able to protect your family better if you have both trust & wills prepared?
Having a skillful trust and wills attorney in Oregon is the key to determining what kind of estate plan will secure the future of your family. You need a dedicated and compassionate lawyer who understands your worries and fears. Give yourself that well-deserved peace of mind. Do not delay your family’s protection any further. Consult with us now and we’ll help you determine the best approach for your needs.
What is a Will?
A will is a set of detailed instructions that explains how you intend to pass on and to whom your property after your death. Will is commonly known as “last will and testament.” It helps protect your family and all your assets. It ensures that your rightful beneficiaries get what they deserve in accordance with your wishes.
Will is a legal document that takes effect when you die. Your last will and testament indicate your intentions in the distribution of your properties and assets. Who will carry out your wishes, and who will be your beneficiaries including guardians for your minors can be designated in your will.
Types of Wills
There are different types of wills and you might wonder how they are different from one another. Our experienced trust and wills attorney can explain to you their differences and give you legal advice on which best cater to your objectives. Below are some of the types of wills you can review and consider..
- Simple Will – this is the most common and basic type of will. In the Will, you will identify in detail what you want to happen to all your assets, your beneficiaries, and your executor if something happens to you. Who will inherit your house, take care of your children, your dogs or cats, etc. You can cancel or amend your will as you please. Or totally create a new one, up to you.
- Testamentary Trust Will – is a trust within a will. It is also sometimes called wills trust and is subject to probate, unlike other trusts. Testamentary trusts are created only after you died and after the probate court process.
- Last Will/Living Will – also known as Advance Health Care Directives or Directive to Physicians expresses your choices and wishes about your medical treatment in case you are unable to communicate your preferences if you become disabled, terminally ill, or unconscious for a long period of time. Having a Living Will helps your family member or your doctors make the best decision following your desires during the most difficult time. It removes the burden and guilt feeling that comes from making hard decisions regarding your life.
- Pour-over Will – ensures that your remaining property or asset will be automatically transferred to your previously established trust after you die. This type of will works together with a trust.
- Deathbed Will – these are considered last minutes wills and are usually done in cases where you are terminally ill and faces imminent death, and want to amend or create a new will. Although circumstances and environment might appear questionable, deathbed wills are considered binding and valid.
- Online Will – this can be done similar to a simple will but the only difference is it’s done online. While Online Wills are considered legally binding, a hard-signed copy of your will is still preferred.
Who can make a Will and how to make one?
In Oregon, you must be of legal age (at least 18 years old) or have been legally married or emancipated, and of sound mind to draft your own last will and testament.
Below are the steps you must follow to create an estate planning document. It would be best to seek legal help from an Oregon-based trust & wills attorney in the process.
- Create a list of all the properties you want to include (properties you own at the time of writing and all the properties you will acquire in the future)
- Decide who will be your beneficiaries – your family, friends, charities, or anyone you want to inherit your assets
- Choose your executor or the person who will carry out your wishes
- Carefully identify who is going to be the guardian of your children
- Decide who will manage your children’s inheritance before they reach the legal age
- Draft your will (should be on actual paper, a hard copy)
- Have your will signed in front of witnesses
- Keep your last will and testament safe
What is a Trust?
Trust is a way of estate administration for your beneficiaries while you are still alive and after your death. It is a legal transfer of properties and assets to your chosen individual or firm known as trustees. Your trustees will manage and act as custodians of your assets on behalf of your heirs in accordance with the conditions you set.
If you have dependent children, elderly family members, or heirs who need assistance in managing their inheritance, trust is a must. It will also provide privacy to your beneficiaries while reducing estate tax and avoiding probate court costs. In the event something happened to you, your assets can stay in the trust and be continuously managed by your appointed trustees or be divided according to your wishes.
Making a trust is more complex and complicated than a will. An experienced trust attorney in Oregon can supervise you in this process.
Types of Trust
There are four major types of trusts that you can review and evaluate to find the most appropriate trust that will work for you.
- Living Trusts – are trusts you make while you are still alive which allow you to manage and control your assets while they remain under trust
- Testamentary Trust – also knowns as wills trust or trust within a will. Testamentary trusts only take effect after you’re gone. They can not be implemented while you are still alive because they are within a will. Wills trust undergoes probate process and therefore goes public. The creation of a wills trust is expected after the completion of probate court proceedings.
- Revocable Trust – at any time during your lifetime, you can amend or revoke this kind of trust. You can remove or add beneficiaries and you can also include future assets and change ownerships.
- Irrevocable Trust – unlike a revocable trust, once an irrevocable trust has been set up, it can no longer be altered, changed, or canceled.
How to make a trust?
After careful consideration, you can follow these quick steps in creating your trust. As trusts can get overwhelming, stressful, and complex, legal consultation with a credible and reliable trust lawyer in Portland, Oregon is recommended.
- Decide whether you want to create an individual or shared trust. Also, evaluate if you prefer a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust.
- Choose all the properties and assets you want to include
- Appoint who will be your trustee. You can opt for an individual or a firm as trustee
- Choose who will be your trust beneficiaries
- Draft your trust document.
- You need to sign your trust document in front of a notary public
- Transfer the ownership on the title documents of all trust properties under the name of the trust
Trust vs Wills: What is the difference?
Estate planning ensures your intentions and wishes are well-crafted so that when the time of your passing comes, you can peacefully leave knowing you have carefully planned out the seamless distribution of your assets. A clear and detailed estate plan will free your family members from the burden of allocating your assets and identifying guardians for your dependents. Choosing which estate plan can best serve your purpose is vital.
Trust and wills can both offer asset protection for you and your family. Both can take care of the distribution and transfer of your properties to your heirs. But each has its own purpose and advantages. Effective estate planning maximizes the need for a Will and sometimes, a Trust too. Which do you need and which strategy will help you accomplish your objectives better? Let’s take a look at their differences.
- Will only takes effect after you died. It can not be implemented while you are still living. A trust can take effect either immediately or after your death, depending on the conditions you set. Trust is about managing and controlling your money during your lifetime or after you’re gone while a will is about the distribution of your assets after you passed away.
- In a will, assets and properties that will be distributed should be under your name. Joint properties or those held by other third parties cannot be governed by a will. Trust on the other hand requires the transfer of the title document from your name to the trust name. Properties that were not transferred can’t be part of the trust.
- Wills undergo the probate process – a court process that determines if your will was made correctly and if the information is correct. Probate can be very lengthy and costly. Trust skips this part which means less cost and stress for your loved ones.
- Trust protects you and your family’s privacy. Wills need to be public.
- You can choose and appoint a guardian for your dependent children or incapacitated heirs in wills while trust does not that have that function. But you can decide on who will manage your assets for your young and incapable beneficiaries.
- Trust is beneficial if you are still alive but not capable of handling your properties due to some illness or if you suddenly become incapacitated. This does not apply to wills since it’s only implemented after your passing.
- Setting up a trust offers exemption opportunities for your beneficiaries from paying high inheritance tax than wills.
- Wills require the appointment of an executor while a trustee is needed for a trust.
- Trusts can be more complicated and expensive to set up while you can create your own simple will anytime, anywhere.
What if I don’t have a Trust or a Will?
If you died without creating a Will or a Trust, you would be considered as someone who has died “intestate.” If this happens, Oregon’s intestacy law will take effect. Your assets and properties will be distributed among your family and relatives following the intestate succession rule beginning with your spouse and children. Whether or not this is your wish or something your loved ones would have wanted is out of the equation.
If you ever have dependent children, the court will appoint a guardian. Choosing the person who will take care of your children or appointing someone to manage their inheritance on their behalf is something you would want to do yourself. You know who can take care of them better and treat them as family. And that is why estate planning and preparing trust and wills should be your priority.
In instances where you neither have a spouse nor children, your parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles & aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, and other distant relatives will inherit your property. If you have no other living relatives by marriage or blood, your property will go to the state.
Are you considering a Trust or a Will? Which is better or can you have both?
On your shoulder is the responsibility to create an estate plan that is well suited for your family. And you might be overwhelmed knowing that aside from a Will, a Trust can also be considered in securing their future.
Certainly, you can have both. Trust and wills do not only safeguard your loved ones and properties but also serve different purposes which can be beneficial for you. It will be difficult to assess which of the two you need or if having both is the best. At the end of the day, we are talking about your protecting your family and hard-earned financial properties here..
Supervision and evaluation of an experienced trust and wills attorney in Oregon is essential. Our lawyers will guide you in assessing your financial situation, identify your needs and goals, and offer you the best possible solutions.
Call our Trust & Wills Attorney Now!
The last thing you would want is to burden your family after your passing. Do you wish for your loved ones to fight against each other over their inheritance? Do you wish for just anyone to assume guardianship of your children? What if a relative you hate takes over your company? We live in an uncertain world, who knows what will happen tomorrow, right? Establishing your estate plan as early as possible will help you sleep peacefully at night knowing the future of your family has been thoroughly arranged.
Here at Michael D. O’Brien & Associates, our trusted and compassionate trust and wills attorney will assist you in gifting your family the best estate plan. So what are you waiting for? Set up a meeting now and let’s start planning your legacy for your family!