Expert Q&A

How is a living trust different from a will?

Related Topics: Estate, Wills and Trusts
Related Tags: Wills, Trust, Estate Planning, Inheritance
Chris Kim
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By Chris Kim - Tompkins Financial Advisors
Answered over 5 years ago

The main purpose of a Living Trust is to bypass the probate court. A will has to go thru a court process to verify the validity of the will and to ensure that your wishes are properly carried out by your executor. This process may be expensive and time consuming for your family; a living trust may avoid it.

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In addition, unlike a will, a Living Trust may become effective, in the event that you become incapacitated because of old age or serious illness. The person you appoint as trustee of your trust may start to manage trust’s property if you become incapacitated and at your death distribute that property to the beneficiaries you named in the Living Trust.

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