Revocable Living Trust or a Will?

Your estate plan should always include an anchor document to distribute your assets, which is either a Will or can be a Revocable Living Trust. Which is best for you and your estate?

A Will is different from a Revocable Living Trust

Both a Will and a Revocable Living Trust, broadly speaking, are legal documents that contain instructions as to how you want your assets managed. The big difference between them is that a Will only goes into effect when you die and a Revocable Living Trust goes into effect during your lifetime.

Gentreo is excited to announce our Revocable Living Trust offering!

Do I Need a Trust?

A Revocable Living Trust is an estate planning document that can be changed over time. Revocable Living Trusts are usually used for larger estates, and allow you to protect your privacy and the privacy of your Trust beneficiaries. If you are older and have more assets, you may want to create and fund a Revocable Living Trust. 

There are many factors to consider when deciding between a Will-based estate plan or a Revocable Living Trust-based estate plan, but for the average American family, a Will-based plan is suitable and appropriate.

A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that contains instructions as to how you want your assets managed during your lifetime.

Your Will is the most important estate planning document for expressing your wishes and protecting your loved ones if something happens to you.

Do I Need a Will?

For the average American family, a Will-based estate plan is suitable and appropriate.

Why do you still need a Will if you have a Revocable Living Trust based Estate Plan? Because rarely do you transfer everything you own into the Trust while you’re living. So, you need a special type of Will, known as a Pour-over Will, to “pour” all of the assets that you own into your Revocable Living Trust upon your death. Therefore, an all-encompassing, Trust-based Estate Plan would also include a “Pour over” Will.

Resources About Wills and Trusts

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My mom died and I paid thousands to settle her estate because she thought she didn’t need a will. I won’t do that to my kids.

Tammy B.

Learn More About Creating Your Will or Trust

Estate planning can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Find answers to common questions about creating your Will or Revocable Living Trust and planning for your future here.

A Will, or Last Will and Testament, designates who you want to inherit your assets and more importantly, if you are a parent of minor children, who you want to nominate to be guardian of your children.

A Revocable Living Trust is an estate planning document that can be changed over time. Revocable Living Trusts are usually used for larger estates, and allow you to protect your privacy and the privacy of your Trust beneficiaries. If you are older and have more assets, you may want to create and fund a Revocable Living Trust. 

Both a Will and a Revocable Living Trust are legal documents that contain instructions as to how you want your assets managed. The big difference between them is that a Will only goes into effect when you die and a Revocable Living Trust goes into effect during your lifetime.

A Will is a legal document that designates who you want to inherit your assets. More importantly, if you are a parent of minor children, your Will also is where you formally nominate who will be the guardians of your children.

A Trust is an agreement in which a person called a Settlor gives assets to be held in Trust and picks someone to manage the Trust. This person is known as the Trustee. The Settlor also determines the terms of the Trust and importantly, the chosen individuals who will benefit from the Trust, known as Beneficiaries.

If you have assets, you should have a Will or a Revocable Living Trust that directs who should receive your funds and goods, and even your pets, when you pass away. Even if you have limited assets, without a Will or Trust, the laws of your state determine who gets those assets, not you. Most of us want to control and choose who gets our belongings.

People rarely transfer everything they own into the Trust, so if you die without transferring some assets to the Trust, you need a Will to cover those assets as well. You need a special type of Will, known as a Pour-over Will, to “pour” all of the assets that you own at your death into your Revocable Living Trust. Therefore, an all-encompassing Trust-based Estate Plan would also include a “Pour over” Will.