A will and a trust are both useful estate planning tools and they serve different purposes. Often, combining both creates the most effective estate plan. While a will goes into effect after you died, a trust can take effect as soon as your Woodbury, NY trusts and estates attorney sets it up. A will is simply a document, created with the help of a wills attorney, that states exactly who will receive your property after your death. A will should also appoint a legal representative, who will be responsible for carrying out the directions spelled out in the will.
A will only covers property that is held in your sole name when you die. It does not at all affect property in trust or joint tenancy. A trust is limited by only affecting property that has been properly transferred into the name of the trust. A main difference between a will and a trust is that a will needs to pass through probate. A court must oversee the administration of the will and confirm that the will is valid. A trust is allowed to pass outside of the probate process, without court involvement, which can save a great deal of time and money. A trust can also keep your estate private, unlike a will, which is part of public record. Your trust, on the other hand, is private, and simply administered by your trustee, who typically should seek the guidance of a trusts and estate attorney in Woodbury, NY.