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How Does a Will Compare to a Trust?

A will is the backup plan for our estate plans. The purpose of a will in a plan that has a trust is to be the backup in case there are any asset which were not assigned to the trust by the time the person dies. Keep in mind that a will can have a trust incorporated into it. If the trust is formed due to the terms of the will and did not exist before the person died, this is called a testamentary trust. It does not avoid probate. The will must go through the court system to be effective in creating that type of trust.

How Can a Trust Avoid Probate?

The trust is a contract that is effective outside of the probate court system. If the trust is properly funded and the person’s assets have been assigned to the trust, there is no reason to probate the will..

What Happens to a Trust Upon the Death of Its Maker?

A trust operates according to its terms during the maker (or settlor’s) lifetime and after the maker dies. Someone will be designated as the trustee that has the duty to carry out the terms of the trust.

What is Involved in a Trust Administration, and How Does It Compare With Probate?

Trust administration can occur completely outside of the court system. Probate occurs only through the court system.

How Long Does the Initial Trust Administration Take?

The length of time involved in a trust administration will depend on the terms of the trust. Some trusts are designed to make an outright distribution to the beneficiaries of existing property. This can take as little as a few weeks. Some trusts are designed to continue operating in the future to manage trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Can Someone Realistically Handle a Trust Administration Without an Attorney?

Yes, some trusts can be managed without an attorney. It depends on how sophisticated the terms of the trust are and how much property is at stake. In complex trusts with several properties involved, it may be a good idea for the trustee to hire an attorney for assistance. Typically, a trust provides the trustee with the power to hire an attorney and use trust funds to pay for legal services.

What Sets You Apart in Handling Trust Matters Once Someone is Deceased?

We know what we are looking at. It usually takes only a short review of a trust for us to determine what needs to be done. Our initial consultation is free. We offer our assistance for an hourly fee only after we can explain what needs to be done and we come up with a plan of action.

For more information on Wills vs. Trusts in Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 288-3200 today.

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