Wills & Trusts
Wills are the most common way for people to state how their property and affairs should be distributed and handled after their deaths. A well-written will eases the transition for survivors by transferring property to whom the decedent intended, appointing an executor to handle the estate and taking care of other issues such as guardians for minor children. Wills vary from a basic document to more complex wills which may include a trust as well, depending on the estate size and preferences of the person making the will. If a person dies without a valid will and did not make alternative arrangements to distribute property, a probate court may have to be involved to administer the estate by resolving claims and distributing the assets.
Trusts are estate-planning tools that can replace or supplement wills, as well as help manage property during life. A trust manages the distribution of a person's property by transferring its benefits and obligations to different people. There are many different types of trusts such as testamentary trusts, living trusts, AB trusts, land trusts and charitable trusts.