On January 6, 2016

A Denver will & trust attorney discusses the differences between wills & trusts.

A Denver will & trust attorney discusses the differences between wills & trusts.

Wills and trusts are two fundamental tools in estate planning. While both wills and trusts can help you pass on certain assets of your estate to loved ones, they do so in different ways – and they can have different, unique benefits in certain situations.

Main Distinctions between Wills versus Trusts

  • Wills only take effect after a death – While a will is devised (and revised) during someone’s lifetime, the instructions in the will are only carried out after the willmaker (or grantor) has passed away. In contrast, any trust that same individual develops can take effect during (or after) his lifetime. This means (among other things) that trusts can be effective ways to pass assets to loved ones prior to death.
  • Wills do not have to be funded – While wills can detail how certain assets are to be transferred to beneficiaries upon a grantor’s death, those assets do not have to be transferred out of the grantor’s name for this to happen. Alternatively, with trusts, assets have to be transferred from the trustmaker’s name into the trust in order to fund the trust.
  • Wills have to pass through Colorado probate – Probate is essentially the process of validating and administering wills. So any assets mentioned in the will generally have to pass through probate. In contrast, assets held by trusts will not have to be probated. This can mean that assets held by trusts can be transferred more quickly to beneficiaries following a death (because these assets can bypass Colorado probate).
  • Wills can cover issues that trusts may not – In fact, wills can outline plans for the care of minor children, funeral and burial plans, etc. Trusts, in contrast, will only detail how certain assets are to handled and distributed during or after the trustmaker’s life.

Want to Know How a Will & Trust Could Benefit You? Contact a Denver Will & Trust Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

When you are ready to develop, revise or administer an estate plan, you can turn to the Denver will & trust attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. Our lawyers provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

Let’s discuss your options during an initial consultation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Drafting Wills, Estate Planning, Trusts