What is a Will?
A will (or Last Will and Testament) is a legal document that provides instructions on how the decedent wished his/her estate matters to be dealt with after his/her death. In essence, it explains how property should be distributed and to whom. It also usually designates an individual(s) as the person responsible for carrying out the decedent’s wishes commonly referred to as the personal representative, administrator, or executor.
In most cases, a will is typed and signed in front of witnesses. At the time a will is executed, the testator (person making the will) must be an adult and mentally competent. Consulting a lawyer about how to construct a will is recommended.
What is a Trust?
A trust is an estate-planning tool that is set up to determine how a person’s property should be managed and distributed while that person is living or after their death.
Trusts can supplement or replace wills. There are also several different types of trusts that serve different purposes. It depends on the estate-planning goals of the individual. For example, setting up a trust for a child’s college tuition, to avoid probate, or providing for a family member after your death.
Since trusts can be complicated, please consider contacting an estate planning attorney.