A will is a legal document that details how a person’s assets will be distributed after his death. The testator (the person making the will), designates individuals or charities (beneficiaries) to receive any property and possessions when he passes away. Your loved one can divide his assets in whatever way he chooses. For instance, he might leave everything to his spouse, divide the estate equally among his children, or leave specific items to individuals or charities. The main purpose of a will is to ensure that the testator’s wishes, and not the default laws of the state, will be followed upon the testator’s death. Your loved one should appoint an executor, a personal representative who will carry out his wishes after his death. This person will pay taxes, pay money due to creditors and distribute the assets. If your loved one doesn’t appoint an executor, the state will. Your loved one can change or revoke his will at any time as long as he’s not mentally incapacitated. In fact, he should review his will periodically to make sure that it still works for him.
Like a will, a trust details how a person’s assets will be managed and distributed upon his death. But it also enables the person creating the trust (called the grantor) to designate someone to manage his assets during his lifetime should he become incapacitated. A Trust Fund is a legal agreement between three parties: the trustmaker (grantor), the trustee (the person or entity responsible for managing the property the trustmaker transfers into and titles in the name of the trust, and the beneficiaries, the people or entities receiving the benefits of the property titled in the name of the trust.
To establish a trust, the grantor writes a trust document and transfers ownership of selected property to the trust. He also names a trustee to manage the trust for a beneficiary’s (or multiple beneficiaries’) benefit. A living trust takes effect during the grantor’s lifetime. The grantor can appoint himself as the initial trustee so that he can manage the trust property himself. If he names himself as trustee, then he also must appoint a successor trustee to manage the trust and distribute its assets after the grantor becomes incapacitated or dies. A revocable trust can be amended at any time as long as the grantor has capacity to do so. An irrevocable trust cannot be amended. The The Law Offices of Charles D, Hines will assists you in the creation of estate plans and other documents that will implement your wishes after you die.