What is a Trust?

Trusts allow you to control your wealth, protect your legacy and avoid excessive probate costs after your death. Creating a Trust provides a reliable way to ensure your family members are financially protected and your personal assets are distributed per your wishes. There are a variety of different types of Trusts including: Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Gun Trusts, and Testamentary Trusts.  

Do I need a Will or a Trust?

Your estate plan will help you distribute your assets according to your wishes.  For almost every client, the initial decision is whether to use a Will or a Trust as the primary vehicle to accomplish those goals.  The basic differences between a Will and a Trust are as follows:

1) A Will is a set of instructions to be followed upon your death - to pay your creditors or for your funeral; to distribute your assets; to provide a Guardian for your minor children. Once the instructions in the Will are carried out, the Will ceases to exist.

2) A Trust is a "living" document, similar to an LLC or a contract, that can provide for management of your assets during your life and even after your death.  A Trust owns any property that is transferred to it, and therefore provides many more options than does a Will.  For example, a Trust can be used to keep a cottage or hunting property in the family after your own death.  A Trust can also be used to manage cash or accounts if you don't want your children to receive their inheritance when they reach age eighteen (18).

3) A Will has to go through probate when you die - which can be time consuming and costly - whereas a Trust does not have to go through probate.  Whereas probate takes a minimum of five months in Michigan, a Trust does not need court approval so there is no wait before it can be acted upon. 

Protect your family, contact Toburen Law to discuss your estate planning goals today. 

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