Friday, August 17, 2012

What are the Differences Between a Last Will, a Living Trust and a Living Will?

People are often confused about the differences between a Last Will, a Living Trust and a Living Will.  Although these things may sound alike, they all serve different purposes. 

A Last Will lets you dictate who receives your property, provides instruction for the handling of your remains upon death, and if you are a parent of a minor child allows you to nominate a guardian.
A Living Trust, like a Last Will, allows you to dictate who receives your property.  The major difference between a Living Trust and a Last Will is that a Living Trust typically avoids Probate upon the death of the Settlor – the creator of the Living Trust.  Thus, the property you place in a Living Trust passes free of court involvement to your beneficiaries.  A Living Trust is also known as Revocable Trust or a Family Trust.
A Living Will has nothing to do with the distribution of your property.  Rather a Living Will indicates your wishes as it relates to artificial life support.  During times of incapacity, the Living Will may provide peace of mind to your loved ones as they will know your wishes relating to end of life treatments.  A Living Will is also known as an Advanced Directive or Directive to Physicians.
The attorneys at JEFFREY BURR have extensive experience implementing these documents into a person’s estate plan.  Please feel free to contact our offices for a free 30 minute consultation.

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