Why Have a Will or a Trust?

There are two commonly used methods of estate planning in addition to beneficiary designated accounts – Wills and Trusts. A Will is not necessarily better than a Trust and vice versa; in fact, both can be used in conjunction by the same person. Wills, Trusts and other estate planning tools allow you to control the ownership and disposition of your assets, effectively serving to protect these assets and provide for your family in the event of your death. A Will enables you to specify who will inherit which of your assets, upon your death. It is very important when drafting a Will that careful consideration be given to who is named as the executor. The executor is the individual or entity who will be in charge of administering the estate. He or she will make sure all the outstanding bills are paid and your property distributed as set forth in the Will. Most of the time with married couples it is the other spouse who is named as the executor. However, a secondary or alternate executor should be named in the event the primary executor will not or cannot serve.

A Will should be drafted by someone who is experienced. An attorney who practices in the area of estate planning should be a first choice. The attorney will be able to determine one’s specific needs and draft a Will tailored to those needs. Oftentimes, a simple Will is what is needed. However, in cases of more complex estates or if someone is a member of a blended family (prior marriages or having children from marriages), a more detailed Will may be necessary. An experienced lawyer knows what questions to ask to find out what level of complexity your specific situation requires. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, a Will can be joined with a Trust as a powerful estate planning plan.

A Trust is a legal vehicle in which legal title to, and control of, assets is held by a Trustee. Trusts are generally established with specific purposes in mind – privacy and preservation of assets and making specific provisions for certain individuals and or entities are among the primary purposes. Trusts are also good tools for managing your property during your lifetime especially if you become incapacitated.

Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. Most living Trusts are revocable. It is common for a married couple to form a living Trust. This type of Trust is referred to as a living Trust because the Trust is in effect while the settlors are alive. Some of these types of Trusts are set up to become irrevocable upon the death of one of the settlors in order to protect the Trust assets from future spouses and their families. A living Trust can protect assets from creditor attack and provide tax savings in some instances. A living Trust can also help you avoid the probate process by allowing a deceased spouse’s assets to pass through the Trust instead of probate.

A Trust can be set up with in any manner that fits the needs of the parties. The lawyers at Garg & Associates are able to assess your current estate plan’s ability to deal with your assets; and, if it is time for a "tune up," we will offer suggestions regarding the needed changes and counsel you accordingly. If it is a Trust you need, our lawyers can counsel you on the type of trust needed that will best fir your circumstance.

We invite you to contact us for a consultation. Call Garg & Associates, PC, Houston wills lawyers at 281-362-2865 or complete our contact form.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
Serving The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Conroe, Kingwood, Tomball, Cypress, Huntsville, Cleveland, Stafford, Montgomery County, Harris County, West Oaks, Memorial, Sugar
Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.