Virtually all Philadelphia residents are aware that they need to put their final wishes into writing. For many, the vehicle that they choose to complete this important step is a simple will. While wills do provide a basic level of estate planning coverage, there are other options that offer many more benefits. Often, trusts are a far better fit for an individual's needs, and they are not much more complicated to create than a simple will.
For one, a trust allows for a much greater level of privacy. Wills go through probate, which is a public proceeding. That means that the details of who is tagged to get what will be made available to anyone who wishes to look into the matter. Not only can this cause a great deal of contention among heirs, but it also gives loved ones very little privacy as they accept the wealth that has been passed down to them.
Trusts, on the other hand, allow the details of an inheritance to remain private. Trusts do not go through probate, which can mean that heirs are able to access their inheritance more quickly. In addition, trusts give the creator a great deal of flexibility when it comes to their structure and terms.
It is important to note that each and every individual has a unique set of goals and needs when it comes to estate planning. In order to make informed decisions, it is imperative to get advice from a trusted professional. An estate planning attorney can help Philadelphia residents determine if their needs are best met by trusts or wills.
Source: CBS News, "5 reasons you need a trust, not a will", Ray Martin, Sept. 17, 2015