Ask Terry Questions will vs trust

will vs trust

By Terry Savage on November 09, 2014 | Financial Planning / Retirement

just missed you on wgn, what is best for me a will or trust? i have appox $200k invested. my wife owns the house i have 1 daughter (26 yrs old) also a life ins policy for $100K. what is best for me trust or will? i’ve heard pro/con on both

Terry Says:  Please see the previous answer just posted on this topic.  I truly believe in the benefits of a revocable living trust — and since they cost about the same to create, the only reason attorneys want wills is that they earn fees taking the estate through probate court!!

As for your situation, you might want to think twice.  If something happens to your house, owned solely by your wife, it will take a long court process to transfer title — assuming she has a will.  If you want to keep property separate, then she can have her own revocable living trust, re-titling the house in the name of the trust, and then designating her own successor trustee — which might be you, or your daughter.  But just “owning it” separately is bound to cause problems if something happens that either incapacitates her or causes her death.

Also check what happens to your investments at your death.  If they are in your name — not in a retirement account — there is no beneficiary.  Again, if you have a will, it will take a while for probate court to distribute those assets. And if you don’t have a will, it will take ages and lots of fees till the money gets distributed.  For that you should have your own RLT,naming a successor trustee and giving distribution instructions at your death.  And do check the beneficiary named on your life insurance.

Here is the recent column on wills and revocable living trusts:



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