It is important to know the difference between a Will-based plan and a Trust-based plan so you can make an informed decision about what is best for you and, ultimately, your family.
A Will-based plan is an estate plan that does not include a Living Trust to hold title to your assets. For example, our Family Plan is a Will-based plan which includes the following legal documents: Health Care Directives, Powers of Attorney, Wills and optionally, if you have minor children, a Kids Protection Plan.
A Trust-based plan, on the other hand, is an estate plan that does include a Living Trust to hold title to your assets during your lifetime and to provide for the ease of transfer of those assets in the event of your incapacity or death. For example, our Trust Plan and Wealth Plan are both Trust-based plans which contain all of the legal documents included in the Family Plan PLUS one or more Living Trusts.
So, Why Should I Care?
The practical difference between a Will-based plan and a Trust-based plan is that without a Trust in place your family would have to go through the Probate Court process to get access to your assets in the event of your incapacity or death.
Your Will indicates both WHO you want to have access to your assets and HOW you want them distributed, but it does not keep your family out of Probate. Going through Probate (or guardianship in the event of incapacity) is expensive, time-consuming, totally public and completely unnecessary. But that’s what happens when you have only a Will in place instead of a Trust.
When you do have a Trust in place, there is a bit more work for you to do upfront because you need to ensure all of your assets are properly owned by the Trust throughout your lifetime (and insurance beneficiaries are designated to the Trust), but we are here to assist you with that (or even take care of it for you, if you prefer).
And, with our regular trust review process or valuable membership plan, we monitor your assets and ensure they are owned in the correct manner throughout your lifetime while also making sure your plan stays up to date as your life, your assets, and the law changes.
How Do I Know Which Plan Is Right For Me?
My process begins with a Family Wealth Planning Session. And because I want every interaction between us to be extremely valuable to you (whether you need a Will-Based Plan, a Trust-Based Plan, or no plan at all), I’ll send you a comprehensive information packet with homework for you to complete before our Session together so you can gain the most from your time with me.
I’ll review the homework you complete before we meet so we can invest our full time together examining your specific situation and assessing whether a Will-Based Plan or a Trust-Based Plan makes the most sense for you and your family.
I guarantee you will be heard, cared about, informed, educated, and empowered to make the best decisions for the people and things that matter most in your life.
If this is a conversation you’re ready to have, we should talk. Please call me.