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Wills vs. Living Trusts

Wills vs. Living Trusts Scale

You've certainly heard about creating a will or a living trust when planning for the future, but are you familiar with the differences between them? We're here to help clear that up today.


Additionally, you might be saying to yourself, ‘If I have a Will, do I also need a Living Trust?’


Let's explain it like this, a Will is like a map. As with any map, you’d look to see what roads you need to take to get to your destination! Similarly, a Will is a directive from the deceased of who they want to receive what.


That sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well it is, but here is the problem - in order to transfer that asset from the deceased to the outlined beneficiaries, you’ll need the deceased’s signature...which, let's face it, isn't going to happen 😂


Here is where Probate comes in...


Probate is taking that directive - the paper map - or Will to the courts so that the courts can sign off and get those assets to the beneficiaries.


BUT ... here’s the catch: 

Probate is not free - there are often delays as the courts get tied up with many other cases, and there is a cost associated with this process.


So to avoid that, the answer is a Living Trust.


A Living Trust is also a map that outlines who should get what assets, but when the deceased is gone, we no longer need their signature. When that person was alive, they stipulated exactly who would be the successor trustee - aka - who can sign off and get those assets transferred.


To summarize, both will transfer assets to beneficiaries, but a Will needs probate.


We know there are many other questions that may come up when thinking through putting together a will and a living trust, so please don't be shy; we encourage you to visit our website that outlines more questions you may have on this topic as well as our answers provides further guidance.


Your Compass Financial Team


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