St. Petersburg Wills & Trusts Attorney
What Is a Will?
A typical disposition of a moderately sized estate can be handled with a will. Even a person with a small estate can benefit greatly from having a will because it makes clear what your wishes are and allows for a means of honoring them.
A will can include a self-proving affidavit that, in most cases, avoids the need to bring witnesses to court after death. You can also name or designate your:
- Personal representative, which is the person who carries out your wishes once you have passed away
- Guardians for minor children if neither you nor the child’s parent survives
Trustees for assets passing to minor children. When leaving gifts to children under eighteen years of age, a testamentary trust can be useful in avoiding the cost and burden of a financial guardianship for that child’s share.
Contact our St. Petersburg wills lawyer today to request a consultation.
What Is a Trust?
There are many types of trusts. Revocable or irrevocable living trusts may be something you wish to consider if you desire privacy, own property in multiple states, or hope to avoid probate altogether.
Certain trusts may be useful in saving federal estate taxes (inheritance taxes). These trusts are often used in a married couple scenario, allowing the shelter of a large estate from federal estate taxes. Failure to use them can leave families paying large amounts of taxes unnecessarily.
The special needs trust is a useful device when you have a desire to leave money for the benefit of a person with a disability without interfering with their government benefits such as Medicaid. This type of trust allows the person to have many of the extras that the government will not otherwise pay for. A knowledgeable elder law attorney can assist in creating management trusts for personal injury awards or other assets. These trusts help preserve the client’s qualification for Medicaid or other forms of public assistance.
Difference Between Wills & Trusts
The main difference between a will and a trust is when they become effective. A will goes into effect after you pass away, but a trust is valid once created.
A will maps out who will receive your property and appoints a person to carry out your mentioned wishes. You will be able to name a guardian for children and specify preferred funeral arrangements. A will also have to pass through probate, the court will have to ensure that it is valid.
A trust can begin to distribute property before one passes. It will not pass through probate after you pass which can save time and money. It can also remain private unlike a will.
Contact Hill & Kinsella today to talk to an experienced attorney that can help you decide whether a will or trust is the best option for you.
If you have more questions about wills and trusts, call our wills and trusts lawyers in St. Petersburg today at (727) 240-2350.
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