Legal matters can be confusing, and this is especially true when documents have similar sounding names. You hear a lot of things about estate planning, and you hear many terms tossed about, so you could come away with misconceptions.
We endeavor to clear things up on our blog from time to time, and with this in mind, we will look at the difference between living wills and living trusts in this post.
Life Support Preferences
There are different types of wills used in the field of estate planning. Everyone has heard of the last will or last will and testament that can be used to facilitate postmortem asset transfers.
In addition to the last will, there is another type of will called a living will. This is an advance directive for health care, and it has nothing to do with monetary matters.
Doctors can sometimes keep people alive through the utilization of life-sustaining measures like mechanical respiration and artificial hydration and nutrition. This can be true even when a patient is in a vegetative state with no possibility of recovery.
Decisions must be made under these circumstances. When you execute a living will, you record your preferences with regard to the utilization of life-sustaining measures. If you have a living will in place, health care professionals would be compelled to follow your instructions in the event of your incapacitation.
A living trust is a document that is used as a vehicle of asset transfer. With this type of trust, you control the assets while you are alive and well. You can add or subtract assets, take monetary distributions, and you can even dissolve the trust entirely if you choose to do so.
If you create a living trust, you can act as the trustee initially, and you can also act as the beneficiary. To facilitate asset transfers after your death, you would name successors to take over these roles after you pass away.
You would leave behind instructions that the trustee must follow with regard to the nature of the monetary distributions to the beneficiaries. After your passing, the trustee would follow these instructions, and assets would be distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes.
These distributions could take place in a timely manner, because they would not be subject to the probate process.
Schedule a Free Consultation
It is natural to have questions about all the different estate planning documents that can be utilized. If you would like to discuss your unique personal situation with a licensed professional, our firm can help.
We offer free consultations, and you can send us a message through our contact page to set up an appointment: Smithtown NY Estate Planning Attorneys.