Wills and trusts are common sources of confusion for people trying understand the many components of estate planning. Some people think that you need only one or the other, and some think that you absolutely need both. The reality is, your needs will depend on your personal circumstances. To help you better understand your options, below is a look at wills versus trusts for Massachusetts estate planning.
What Is Covered by Wills
Wills are a simple document that can be fairly informal. You can prepare it yourself or with the help of an attorney. It merely needs to be signed in front of two witnesses to be valid. The primary purpose of a will is to name beneficiaries for your assets, assign an executor to your estate, and designate guardians for your children. Read our blog post on creating wills for Massachusetts estate planning for additional information.
What Is Covered by Trusts
Trusts also name beneficiaries, but that’s pretty much the limit of what they have in common with wills. Trusts are much more formal and require signing in front of a notary. A few of their many benefits include:
- Avoiding probate.
- Retaining privacy of your estate information.
- Protection from challenges by outside parties.
- Avoiding conservatorship.
- Leaving property to minors.
- Protecting assets for beneficiaries against their creditors
- Nursing home protection
Depending on the type of trust, you may also be able to minimize estate taxes. Learn about revocable and irrevocable trusts in our Learning Center.
More Information on Wills versus Trusts for Massachusetts Estate Planning
Now that you have a better understanding of wills versus trusts for Massachusetts estate planning, it’s time to figure out what is best for your estate. Schedule an appointment to sit down with our Massachusetts estate planning attorneys. We will explain the options available to you and advise you on the best solution to accomplish your estate planning goals.