• living will vs living trust

Living Will vs Living Trust – What is the Difference?

Living Will vs Living Trust – you may have heard both terms and wondered what each means, and how – or if – they are related. Both are legal terms and estate planning forms relating to estate-planning; that is, when a person – wisely – makes decisions about end-of-life matters well ahead of imminent death. They have different purposes, though. A living will relates primarily to decisions about your medical care. A living trust deals mostly with financial matters. Read on to learn more about the difference between a living will vs living trust and which one is right for you.

Living Will Overview

A living will is a document that lets your family, your medical team, and legal authorities know your wishes if you become medically incapable of making your own your decisions or when you are terminally ill. A living will is also referred to as an Advance Healthcare Directive in California. Everyone – regardless of wealth or family status – should have a living will along with a few more related documents. A living will is not the same as a last will and testament. At A People’s Choice, we can help you and your family draft all the necessary documents that meet your particular needs and situation. Contact us for more information.

Living Trust Overview

A living trust is a written legal document in which a person’s assets are put into a trust to be administered for his/her benefit during his/her lifetime. Upon their death, the living trust’s property is transferred to their designated beneficiaries. Everyone should have the most basic estate-planning document – a last will and testament. Without it, the government decides who receives your money and property as well as other important matters like who cares for your children.

A living trust is a more sophisticated type of legal document for people with a certain amount of money and property, or with family situations that require some special planning in case of a death. The primary benefit of a living trust is that your family will be spared the time and expense of the usual, court-supervised administration of your estate called probate. Your survivors should also have the benefits of substantial tax savings.

Although this document is intended to – and does – substitute for a last will and testament, it begins during the person’s lifetime. However, most people name themselves as trustee, so they effectively control the assets they have transferred to the living trust. Not everyone needs a living trust. For the right person, though, it can be the valuable centerpiece of a prudent plan for the transfer of assets on death.

Living Will vs Living Trust

California state has special laws regarding the formation and administration of a living trust and living will. For this type of estate-planning, you should consult with an experienced legal professional who has experience preparing estate planning documents. At A People’s Choice, we can help you prepare a living trust or a living will and get your estate plans in order. Call 1-800-747-2780 to schedule your document preparation. We prepare estate planning documents and provide legal document preparation services for people living in California as well as all other states in the US.

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By |2018-01-18T15:47:37+00:00May 1st, 2015|Estate Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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