Wills and Trusts
We understand that estate planning is not always the most comfortable topic to discuss. However, it is necessary. If you have ever thought about how you would like your assets distributed, who will provide for your minor children or any concerns regarding end-of-life medical decisions, the caring attorneys at Nowlan & Mouat LLP will guide you through this planning process.
Once we discuss your goals and wishes, we will develop the options needed to see them through. Our dedicated attorneys stay current on tax laws and apply the latest estate planning techniques for individuals and businesses of all sizes. Depending on your needs, this may include a trust or will.
What is the difference between the two?
While they both have similarities, trusts offer more flexibility and privacy. They do not have to go through a probate court and therefore are not a matter of public record for everyone to see.
A will does not become effective until you are deceased and names the beneficiaries and executors of your assets. It is generally less expensive to set up and requires less documentation.
Trusts accomplish the same goals a will can, but includes many more benefits. The most commonly known trust is the Living Trust. A Living Trust becomes active during a grantor’s lifetime and even manages assets during this lifetime. When setting up a Trust, our lawyers will help you decide the arrangement for distribution upon your death, designate the successor to manage the distribution and name the beneficiaries of your assets.
Once our attorneys have prepared the Living Trust, a signature is required and then the grantor transfers the assets into the trust. Once the trust inherits the assets, everything with remain private and avoid probate and any additional probate costs. This ensures the assets pass along to your designated beneficiaries.
Even when we have established a trust, many times a will is still necessary to cover any remaining assets that were not included in the trust, which may happen for a variety of reasons. The will guarantees that all your assets distribute as you intended.
Without any type of will set in place prior to your passing, the state will make decisions on your behalf, including the distribution of your assets and even the care of your minor children. The costs accrued from the state’s participation will cut into the amount you intended for your beneficiaries and may actually name beneficiaries you had not intended.
An estate plan with our attorneys will provide you peace of mind knowing that your wishes are set in place and carried out. We know how to enforce the best tax advantages available to you, protect your wealth and transfer it successfully as you intend.