When you want to manage your assets and make sure they are distributed according to your wishes, that is where estate planning is essential. You have two options in Wisconsin: drafting a will or creating a trust. These options both have benefits and disadvantages. Your financial situation, family dynamics, and personal preferences all play a role in determining whether a trust is better than a will in Wisconsin.
Will vs. Trust
Before you choose one over the other, you will want to know how they can help with estate planning. A will designates how your assets will be distributed after your death. With that, you can give certain assets to specific beneficiaries. Plus, you will need to appoint an executor to manage the process. In the state of Wisconsin, your will needs to go through probate. This process makes sure that the will is valid and that all debts are paid. Once that happens, the assets can pass to the beneficiaries.
With a trust, the estate is handled differently. First, a trust holds and manages the grantor’s and their beneficiaries’ assets. Unlike a will, all the assets can be transferred without the probate proceedings. As a result, it is a more streamlined process than disbursing assets via a will.
Why a Trust Is a Good Option
Many people in Wisconsin choose a trust over a will for one reason: to avoid probate. This legal process is very expensive. Attorney and court fees are deducted from the estate, reducing the amount passed down to the beneficiaries. Plus, it can take a long time for them to receive the assets. Since this is a legal process, all the proceedings will enter public records. That lack of privacy is another reason why many choose to establish a trust in their estate plans.
Trusts are more flexible than wills regarding complicated family situations. For example, if you have a disabled or blended family member, you may want to pass certain assets to a specific person. Many times, a will not allow those special provisions. In that case, a trust can make sure your assets and wishes are carried out to your exact specifications.
When to Use a Will
While a trust has many benefits, some situations are more suitable for a will. A will might be a more practical option if you have a small, simple estate with minimal assets. Wills pass through the probate proceedings, but some assets, such as life insurance and retirement accounts, can skip those hearings. However, you will still want to review the terms and update the beneficiary information to make sure they align with your wishes.
You do not have to use a trust or will separately from one another. These tools can work together to ensure your assets are distributed according to your final wishes. Both the will and trust are important parts of your estate plan.
Learn More About Trusts and Wills
Is a trust better than a will in Wisconsin? While a trust offers probate avoidance, privacy, and flexibility, a will may be sufficient for those with more straightforward estates. If you want to learn more about what option is the right one for you, reach out to Collins Law Firm. We can help you find the best tools for your estate planning needs. Contact us to book your free consultation by calling (414) 207- 6292.