Estate-PlanningWhen you work hard for the money earned during your lifetime, it is normal to want some control over where your assets go after you die.  The two main forms of passing your assets are through a will or a trust.  The right method of distribution depends on individual circumstances.  Whichever you choose, the attorneys at Pratt Aycock can aid you to create a valid will or trust.


A will is a written document indicating how to allocate your property at death.  You may amend or revoke your will during your lifetime.  The purpose of creating a will is to uphold the testator’s intent when distributing their property.  A valid will must be written, signed, and witnessed.  The benefits of writing a will are simplicity and cost compared to a trust, creditors are cut off from bringing a claim after a certain date, you can name a guardian for your minors, and you do not have to transfer your assets to another entity.  The disadvantages of wills are they go through probate, become a matter of public records, and the probate process can be lengthy.


A trust allows distribution during your lifetime and after death.  For a trust, you must have a trustee and ascertainable beneficiaries.  Court involvement is not necessary for a trust.  The benefits of a trust are avoiding probate, ability to transfer management of your property if you become incapacitated, enables you to name someone to manage trust property for minors, and privacy. The disadvantages of a trust are the complexity and cost of creating and maintaining the trust.


To discuss the best estate planning option for your assets, contact the attorneys at Pratt Aycock. Our experienced and trained attorneys can evaluate your estate and help you construct a will or trust.

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