Adoption 101: The Legal Fundamentals

Adoption 101: The Legal Fundamentals

2 Key Differences Between A Last Will And A Living Trust You Should Know Before Planning Your Estate

Brayden Miles

If you have recently felt the need to prepare for what happens after you pass away, you may have started looking into the legal options for planning the affairs of your estate. As you have conducted research, you may have come across two options that include drawing up a last will or placing your estate in a living trust.

While both options are available and acceptable when planning out your final affairs, knowing which one is better for your situation can be difficult to process. While you are trying to make a decision, knowing a couple of key differences between having a last will and a living trust can help you while you are making your decision.

1. Unlike a Living Trust, a Last Will Only Goes into Effect after You Are Deceased

One major difference between a living trust and a will has to do with the time period in which they become effective. With a living trust, all of your property and assets are listed as their own separate entity, with you being the person in control of them while you are alive.

This happens as soon as the trust is created and filed, and the person listed as trustee takes ownership when you either die or are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.

However, if you create a last will, this document will not go into effect until you are deceased. You can list your assets separately, determining who will receive what after the will is processed.

2. Unlike a Last Will, a Living Trust Is Not Processed Through Probate Court 

Another difference between a will and a trust has to do with its processing through probate court. With a will, it must go through the court system, which can often take months, even if there is no one to contest it.

However, with a living trust, the documents are signed over to the trustee without the need to go through the probate process. This is because the trust is its own entity, and ownership is transferred through the attorney who set it up.

When trying to decide whether to have a last will drawn up for use when you pass away or to go ahead and place your estate into a living trust that does not have to through probate court, the decision-making process can be difficult to navigate on your own. Contact an estate planning attorney in your area to set up a time to discuss your current needs and future desires so that they can help you make an informed decision.


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Adoption 101: The Legal Fundamentals

If you've decided that you want to adopt a child, the first thing you should do is reach out to a family law attorney. While it may not seem logical to get an attorney involved from the start, it's important that you protect yourself legally from the beginning. After making the decision to adopt, I have been through the process several times. I created this site to help other adoptive parents understand what they can expect from the entire process, including the legal support you're likely to need. I hope this information helps you feel more confident in this major life decision.