Financial literacy is much more than understanding not to spend more than you make and to pay your bills on time. True financial literacy includes an understanding of income, investments, retirement, tax implications of your income and investments, and even what will happen to your wealth upon your death. As an estate attorney we help families with a plan for transfer of their wealth at the end of their life. One of the biggest misconceptions is the difference between wills and trusts.
A Last Will & Testament and Trust Are Not the Same
Although both documents are a way to say who receives your assets after death, there are significant differences. Although some families need both, not everyone does. A will is a less complicated document. In it you can specify where you want your assets to go and dictate a guardian for your children. Some people also include details about their final arrangements.
There are several types of trusts. The most common is a living trust. In a living trust, property and money in bank accounts can be used while you are still alive. The trust can also include life insurance and retirement accounts. The main benefit of a trust is that items in a trust are not part of the probate process as they belong to the trust rather than the deceased. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of a trust is that it is a private document, unlike a will which is filed in the court system.
Let Wagstaff & Pitelis Help With Your Will & Trust
Every family and situation is different which is why you should speak with an estate attorney about your unique situation. At Wagstaff & Pitelis, we can help you come up with a plan that protects you and your estate and makes the difficult time of your passing easier on your loved ones and beneficiaries. Reach us at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form. We are conveniently located in Clearwater, Florida and ready to help local residents with their estate planning needs.