Unfortunately, the answer is, it depends.
So, if “it depends,” then what factors should you be considering to make the best choice for yourself and your loved ones?
The four main factors to consider are (1) the status of your family; (2) whether or not you want to avoid the probate process; (3) speed/organization and (4) cost.
Your family will have a major role in determining if a will or trust is best for you. Wills distribute property outright. This is great if you trust that your loved ones can manage their inheritance properly and don’t need an added layer of protection. Unlike wills, revocable trusts give you the option to manage the inheritance for your loved ones and protect it from life’s surprises. If you have a loved one that might have a problem managing money, may be heading for a messy divorce, or may have special needs, trusts can help you plan accordingly and protect these assets properly through a trust.
Probate is also a factor to consider. Many Texans draft trusts to circumvent the probate process. This is because every will must be probated in Texas. Probate can be a quick process, but it can also be painfully slow, or somewhere in between, depending upon numerous factors. Challenges from unhappy family members and creditor claims, among other factors, can slow down the probate process. Further, probate almost always requires hiring an attorney and paying for court costs.
Again, a properly funded revocable trust circumvents the probate process.
Also, trust administrations are typically much quicker than probate. Revocable trusts also permit you to organize your assets in one place for quick distribution after you pass away. Mourning the loss of a loved one is tough. There is obvious value in making sure that everything is organized for your loved ones after you pass away.
Finally, cost is always a factor. Wills are less expensive to draft than trusts but wills must be probated after you have passed away. A properly funded trust is not subject to the probate process, saving time and expense down the road.
Which plan is best for you? Contact Grogan Law, PLLC today for a free consultation. Eric Grogan will discuss your options with you and customize an estate plan built to suit your needs.