Healy & McCann, PC

A comparison of wills and trusts

It isn't uncommon for Oregon residents to have both a will and a trust as part of their estate plan. Typically, the majority of assets will be controlled by either a will or a trust. By putting assets in a trust, it may be possible for an estate to avoid going through probate. This can be beneficial for those who want to protect their privacy or minimize the chances of someone challenging some or all of an estate plan.

In some cases, probate can be both costly and time-consuming regardless of how large an estate is. Of course, some believe that the public nature of a probate proceeding helps to ensure that the estate is settled properly. Generally speaking, creating a will costs less than creating a trust, and individuals who create a will own their assets until the day that they die.

If assets are held in a trust, an individual may only get limited use or benefit from them. It is important to note that assets must be titled in the name of the trust for it to be of any value. One major advantage of a trust is the ability to name successor trustees. This means that assets will be managed according to an individual's instructions if he or she becomes incapacitated for any reason.

Ideally, an individual will have at least a will or living trust as part of an estate plan. Other documents may be added as a person starts to go deeper into the estate planning process, and an attorney may be able to help a person put a plan together. Legal counsel may also ensure that a trust is properly funded and that all plan documents are reviewed regularly to ensure that they meet a person's needs.

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Albany, OR 97321

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