A Will is a legal document that describes how your assets should be distributed in the event of death. The actual distribution, however, is controlled by a legal process called probate, which is Latin for “prove the Will.” Upon your death, the Will becomes a public document available for inspection by all comers. With a Living Trust your property is owned by the Trust, so upon your death, the administration of your estate is a simple process. Whomever you name as your “successor trustee” gains control of your assets and distributes them exactly according to your instructions. There is one other crucial difference: A Will doesn’t take effect until your death, and is therefore no help to you during lifetime planning, an increasingly important consideration since Americans are now living longer. A Living Trust can help you preserve and increase your estate while you’re alive, and offers protection should you become mentally disabled.
About Alan Augulis, Estate Planning Attorney
Mr. Augulis founded his Warren, New Jersey law firm so that he could focus his practice in the areas of advanced estate planning and tax law. Mr. Augulis has invested considerable time and energy helping to educate others on the topic of estate planning and has become a sought-after speaker in the tax and estate planning arena because of his informative and entertaining seminars.