Q. What’s the difference between a will and a trust?
It’s all the same to you, right? I mean, you’re going to be dead. But seriously, a will directs the transfer of your left-overs (your estate) to the beneficiaries you want it to go to after your death. This process is usually supervised by the court in what we call the probate process, or simply probate. A trust, on the other hand, is a separate entity, like an empty clay pot, to which you transfer your estate during your life to be managed by a manager (trustee) to hold for the eventual benefit of someone else to whom you want it to transfer. In the meantime, you generally get the use and benefit of the assets held by the trustee. Many trusts name the person donating the property to the trust as also the trustee. This means that technically there is nothing left to go through probate, as you have already given it to the trust.
Q. Can I have a will and a trust?
Yes, a trust is usually accompanied by a will, known as a “pour-over” will, which directs the transfer of any assets you didn’t put in the trust to go to the trust and be distributed according to the instructions in the trust.
Q. Who needs a will?
In Colorado, just about anyone with real estate in their name needs a will to see to its transfer. Additionally, anyone with minor children can appoint a guardian
Q. Can I use an online service for my estate planning documents?
Q. Why would I need to change my will?
Q. What are the bare minimum estate planning documents I need?
Q. How much do these documents cost?
Q. What documents do I need to have in place to prepare for my death?
Q. How do I set aside money for my kids’ education in the event of my death?
Q. What if I write a will and then get divorced?
Q. What if I have a child after I write my will, and that child is not in the will?
Q. How do I protect my special needs child if I die?
Q. What do I do when a loved one dies?
Q. What questions should I ask a lawyer?