One of the first questions clients ask me during initial consultations is “Trust Agreement or Will”?
As with most things, the answer is “it depends.”
A Will is generally used for smaller and/or less complicated estates and/or to name a Guardian for one’s minor children.
Trusts are used when the goal is to accomplish something more than just distributing one’s assets upon death and naming a Guardian.
These objectives include avoiding probate, maintaining one’s financial privacy even at death, shielding one’s assets from creditors, avoiding estate taxes, and/or preserving access to current or future government assistance.
The only way to know for sure which is most appropriate for you is to meet with a qualified estate planning attorney who can evaluate your financial, family, and business situation. After this evaluation, he or she can recommend and design the best estate planning solution for you.