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The Pros and Cons of a Will vs. a Trust in Texas

Estate planning is one of those things that everyone knows they should have, but probably don’t or on their “to do” list but don’t get around to doing. Whether you have a $12M estate or a simple one, estate planning affects everyone, because everyone typically has some type of property and heirs. If you don’t create an estate plan, when you pass your loved ones are left to deal with your property on their own without your guidance. Do it for them.

We are frequently asked by potential clients and other real estate investors whether they need a will or a trust. While there is no black and white answer, there is a lot of information out there that can be overwhelming. Our goal in this article is to provide you with some pros and cons of a will or a trust and which is more suitable depending on your needs.

A trust may be expensive and cumbersome to maintain for some families or individuals if they have a straightforward and simple estate. A trust is not static, it is dynamic, and as such, requires funding, transfers and other related documents to ensure the trust is valid. For some families, the cost for creating and maintaining a trust may far exceed the cost of probate of a will.

It is true that a will requires the probate process, but with the proper legal counsel, an attorney can prepare a will that provides for independent administration as well as other processes from the Texas Estates Code that can streamline the probate process. For example, an attorney can review the estate and determine whether certain documents such as a transfer on death deed or or other title documents can benefit the estate. There are ways to avoid probate aside from having a trust, for many of the assets if that is your main concern. Speak to a Texas Real Estate & Business Law Firm PLLC attorney to determine which estate planning tools best suit your needs.

On the other hand, some clients may need a trust. For example, a client who owns property in different states or many counties in Texas. One of the main benefits of a trust is that it avoids the probate process in several different states because the trust is already holding the assets. This streamlines the process for the trust’s beneficiary. It may also make it easier to pass title to real estate and other interests. Additionally, trusts provide an added layer of anonymity. The probate process is subject to becoming public records because it must be filed in court. However, a trust allows for assets to remain private.

In order to determine whether a will or trust is right for you, schedule a consultation with a Texas Real Estate & Business Law Firm PLLC attorney today.

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