Friday, April 1, 2016

Wills vs Revocable Living Trusts: Which Is Right For You?

While no one wants to think about it, none of us will live forever. Effective end of life discussions go beyond a simple "who gets my stuff?" - in order to properly plan your estate at the Lake of the Ozarks, it's important to identify what you want people to remember about you and what makes you comfortable. O'Donnell Law Center will be here to help facilitate these types of conversations.


Setting Up Your Estate Plan
No two estate plans are exactly alike. A proper estate plan is completely customized to meet you and your family's unique needs. Different financial and familial situations require the use of different estate planning documents. Today, we're going to look specifically at wills and revocable living trusts.

Revocable Living Trusts
Revocable living trusts are valuable estate planning documents that offer several unique advantages. For example, with a revocable living trust, you can:
  • Designate a successor trustee to be in charge of your estate if you become incapacitated.
  • Keep your estate private even after you have passed away.
  • Transfer property to your heirs.
  • Eliminate the need for your estate to have to pass through probate.

Their "revocable" nature allows you to update and change these estate planning documents down the road, as your needs change. One drawback presented by revocable living trusts is that they are typically a bit more expensive than other estate planning documents (such as wills) and there is a bit of work to do after you have created the trust in order to transfer your assets into the trust.

Wills
Wills are not as all-encompassing as revocable living trusts, but there are a few key things you can accomplish with a will that cannot be done using a revocable living trust. For example, wills enable you to:
  • Nominate a legal guardian for your minor children.

A major advantage of wills is that they allow you to nominate a legal guardian for your minor children. While Wills are often less costly during your lifetime to establish, they do not eliminate the need for probate, which can be costly and time-consuming after you are gone. Once they are filed with the court, they become public record.

Most of the time, a revocable living trust is accompanied by a specific kind of Will called a "pour over Will" to make sure that all of the assets you intended to put into your trust during your lifetime, but didn't, get transferred into your trust after your death. Our attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help you design an estate plan that is right for you.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Help You Set Up Your Estate Plan
Hopefully we will all go on to lead happy, healthy lives for many many years to come, but unfortunately it is impossible to predict exactly where our lives will lead. It is always good to evaluate your estate planning needs as soon as you have children, purchase a home, start a business, or your marital status changes. Our estate planning attorney in Osage Beach MO can help you evaluate your situation to determine which estate planning document(s) will best meet your needs. Visit our website or call our center at 573-552-0317 to learn more.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

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