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James A. Jones, Attorney At Law
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Which is best: A will, a revocable living trust or both?

When you are planning your estate, there are many legal documents you can choose to create. Estate plans typically include a will, a power of attorney a healthcare power of attorney. In the estate-planning process, many people also choose to create a trust for their loved ones.

You may find yourself contemplating whether you should create a last will and testament, or a revocable living trust. Then, there is a third option that some people dismiss: Creating both.

The benefits of a revocable living trust

Many people choose to make a revocable living trust because it can circumvent probate. This is a tempting option because it can save your loved ones the headache of probate. Revocable living trusts also remain private, which you may find preferable to your will becoming public record.

Your revocable living trust can also prepare your estate if you become incapacitated due to an illness or accident. Unlike in a will, your trust would designate someone to step in and manage your affairs for you.

Will you need a will?

However, you may still need a will, even if you have a revocable living trust. There are some issues that trusts simply cannot cover. A trust cannot designate a guardian for your minor children, for example. For this, you need a will.

Any property that you leave out of your trust must be probated unless you create a pour-over will. This type of will states that anything you left out of the trust will go into the trust after you die.

How can I decide which one is best for me?

When you are deciding which documents and trust to include in your estate plan, you should carefully consider what you want to happen to your property and assets after you die; whether you want your estate to go through probate; and what your wishes are in case you become incapacitated. Many people seek outside help for estate planning, as the process can be very complex and time-consuming.

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