You’ve made legacy decisions to protect your wishes and the wishes of your loved ones. But have you done it right?

Wills and trusts are fundamental ways to ensure that your estate’s distribution goes as you want. Even when you’re not around to direct the flow of it. But while they do important goals, there are definite differences between a living will vs living trust.

So to make sure you’ve got it right, explore the differences and considerations below.

What Is a Will?

A living will is a legally binding document that outlines a person’s wishes about end-of-life care. It includes instructions for medical professionals on treatments you may or may not want to receive at the end of your life.

It also includes instructions about organ and tissue donation. This allows individuals to have some control in deciding their medical care even if they are too ill to express their wishes.

Having a living will reduce the amount of stress experienced by family and friends who are close to you. Expressing your wishes ahead of time can help to clear up any disagreements about medical care. It can also provide direction for those making key decisions about your care.

What Is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a legal document that sets out how a person’s property is managed and distributed during their lifetime and upon their death. It is not a will but a legal arrangement through which the property can be managed or transferred without probate. This is the process of distributing assets after someone passes away.

A living trust often designates specific beneficiaries, such as family members, to receive their assets. So one needs people like an estate planning attorney to help them in making one. The trust is then managed by a fiduciary on the grantor’s behalf, earning the trust a way to avoid probate court costs and restrictions.

Living trusts can also protect assets in Medicaid planning. They can allow for the management of special needs trusts or gift trusts.

Living trusts can be revocable, allowing trustees to modify conditions set out in the faith. Or they can be irrevocable, meaning that conditions cannot change.

Which Is Better?

Living will and living trust both serve as legal documents that can help to protect you during your lifetime. However, the two documents have different goals and purposes.

A living will is a document that directs future medical decisions for a person if they become incapacitated. It can also determine another individual to make those decisions on their behalf.

On the other hand, a living trust is a legal arrangement in which a person is in charge of property assets for the benefit of another. It can be modified and maintained for its intended purpose.

Living Will vs Living Trust: Both Documents Are Necessary

The living will vs living trust are two similar-sounding legal instruments. But it’s important to understand that they provide very different services. Living trusts are a great way to help protect your assets for your beneficiaries in the long term. A living will help protect your values and medical decisions.

So if you need help deciding which to create, speak to an attorney about which of these will best suit your needs.

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