What Goes Into An Estate Plan?
Depending on your personal situation, some options may make more sense than others. Generally speaking, there are two ways to divide your property and prepare it for your passing:
Using A Will
A will is the most familiar option for most people. A will can grant your property to your family or friends, as well as establish guardianship. The downsides of a will include a longer probate process, less ability to control what happens to your property and potential estate taxes.
A trust has some benefits a will cannot offer. It allows you to protect property from debtors, insulate it from overuse and control what happens if your property cannot be allocated the way you wanted. The biggest drawback for many families is that guardianships cannot be established in a trust. In addition, a trust may not be suitable for families without significant property or assets.
How To Decide What Works For You
The easiest and best way to choose between a will and a trust for your estate is to speak with a lawyer. You also may benefit from other estate planning documents such as a power of attorney or health care directive.