Estate Planning FAQ
Q. What’s the difference between a Will and Trust?
A. A will and trust both create a plan of distribution of your estate. A will, alone, will likely be subject to administration through the Probate Court, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. A trust generally does not require administration through the Probate Court and allows for immediate management of your estate by your successor trustee.
Q. When do I need to Estate Plan?
A. Often clients come to our office either before departing on a vacation or extended business travel (particularly if they are not traveling with their minor children), when they are concerned about their long-term health, after getting married, after having a child, or when they are trying to organize their affairs for their families and friends.
Q What should be done when my spouse passes?
A. You should seek the advice of an attorney to determine whether a probate is required or whether any administration under your living trust is required.
Q. Is a Trust a public document?
A. Generally, no. If there is a probate of a person’s will, the will becomes part of the court’s public record. However, a trust is a private document and generally is not filed with the Court.
Q. How long does it take to prepare my estate plan?
A. Depending on your needs, an estate plan can be prepared expeditiously. Our office strives to meet your time constraints, be it an upcoming trip or medical procedure.
Q. How long will it take to distribute my estate?
A. With a trust, the estate can generally be distributed after all tax and other liabilities have been paid. Depending on the complexity of the estate, this can often be concluded within six (6) months.
If the Probate court administers the will or there is no will, it generally takes a minimum of one year to distribute the estate. If the assets and liabilities of the estate are complex, it can take significantly longer.