If you need to take steps to ensure the orderly distribution of your property in the event of death, a will or trust can facilitate the transfer of property so that your objectives are met. These documents function differently, however, so you want to work with an experienced attorney who will take the time to learn the details of your situation and will carefully explain the advantages and disadvantages of each. The attorneys at Davis & Ferber can help.
We have a comprehensive understanding of the ways you can use wills or trusts to accomplish your estate planning objectives. A simple will is a document that names an executor to administer your estate and sets forth how you want your property to be distributed. A will typically gives your executor the authority to pay all final debts, and may also establish a guardian for your minor children if necessary. All property that passes through a will is subject to the probate process, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
A trust, on the other hand, creates a new legal entity separate from you. Once the trust is in place, you can transfer ownership of property to the trust. Because you no longer own the property (the trust does), it does not pass through your estate at your death and is not subject to probate. In addition, under the terms of most trusts, property remains in the trust at your death. The only thing that changes is the beneficiary of the trust’s assets. Typically, a trust is more expensive to create, but results in little or no expense at your death. Conversely, a will is relatively inexpensive to create, but may result in greater expense as you take property through the probate process.
Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney are often prepared and executed at the time a will is prepared. Health Care Proxy allows someone to make decisions concerning medical treatment for a patient who is unable to make decisions themselves. Power of Attorney allows for a third party to act on one’s behalf for certain decisions. If you are having difficulty understanding the difference between the legal aspects of Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney, our expert lawyers can assist you.
We will carefully evaluate your circumstances and make a recommendation of the strategy that provides the most benefit to you and your loved ones in the future.