Why People Choose A Will Or A Trust

Experience with probate is often the driving force in choosing a Will or a Trust.


The following is a transcript of the video above:

The reason that my clients say they will pick either a trust or they will pick a will.

Hello and welcome to episode 37 of Estate Planning Weekly. I am your host Don Rolfe, the owner and founder of Northwest Legal Planning, an estate planning and probate law firm located in West Linn, Oregon, and serving the greater Portland Metro area.

So today I wanna talk to you about the reasons that clients of mine give for either wanting to pick a trust or picking a will, and really it all comes down to personal preference.

Both of them can get you to where you want at the end, after you've passed away, and getting your assets to the people that you want to have them. The biggest thing that my clients mention when they're telling me why they've decided to get a trust or they've decided to get a will is their experiences that they've had with other family members passing away and administrating their estates.

You know, I get people that come in that say, you know, "I want a will. I don't care about avoiding probate because, you know, my great uncle died and the probate process didn't seem that bad," or, you know, another family member died and the probate process didn't seem that bad, or, "I don't have kids, I don't have a spouse, and the people that I'm leaving it to, I don't care if my estate has to go through probate because, you know, it's distant relatives that are gonna inherit everything" or it's charities that are gonna inherit everything, "and, you know, why do I wanna spend the money up front to simplify the process when they're gonna take care of it on the back end going through probate?"

And then on the trust side what I hear is just the reverse, like 180 degrees from what the people who want a will tell me, is that they have been through their parent's probate and it was a nightmare, or another family member's probate, it was a nightmare, or they're still going through another family member or parent's probate that's been going on for years it seems like, because there's just so much stuff to gather and bills that were unpaid and assets that were titled incorrectly, all of those sorts of things, and they want to avoid that probate, and another reason that those trust clients wanna trust is they have children. They wanna make sure that those children are protected.

If they're minors they wanna make sure that trusts are set up with reliable trustees to spend that money wisely for their children and to make sure that that money is protected for when their children go to college and then finally, you know, get married and have some protection for that inheritance from divorce or other creditors.

So, it seems to me that, you know, it could go either way. My experience, having done estate administration is that going through,

oh by the way, if you have any questions about this or you have experiences of your own and perhaps maybe you wanna change your estate plan or get one set up, you can go to myestateplanmeeting.com and schedule a complimentary half hour strategy session with me where I can answer any questions you have about estate planning or state administration, and I can tell you what your options are. It's absolutely free and we can do it either on the phone or in person.

So back to the people and the choices that they make. It seems to run the gamut. So, whether they've had a really good experience with probate or a really bad experience with probate oftentimes makes the determination. Another one is who their heirs are and who they're leaving it to and whether or not they want to leave the inheritances with some protection.

Now of course you can leave your assets through a will in a trust to your heirs, but that's just another step that has to be taken during the probate process. Rather than do that you can set up those trusts inside of a revocable living trust and never have to have the court get involved in administering your estate as long as everything's funded properly.

So, long story short, it really depends on people's experiences, if they come in with a preconceived notion as to whether or not they want a will-based plan or a trust-based plan, and I'm happy to discuss those things with people and talk to them about what my experience has been, actually being the attorney for several probates, and talk to them about what I have seen in those administrations, and then also the administrations of trusts, and then maybe having them reevaluate based upon the experience that I'm able to share with them.

But either way, I really think it's important for anyone out there that's over the age of 18 to have an estate plan so that they're protected during their lifetime and after they've passed away, whether it be from, you know, protection from incapacity, creditors, predators, all of those sorts of things for, you know, protection for your heirs, protection for yourself to make sure that, you know, bills are gonna keep getting paid if you're incapacitated.

Kinda rambling on here, but if you have any questions or you'd like to talk to me about these topics, please do reach out to me at myestateplanmeeting.com, put yourself right on my calendar. We need to get on the phone and in person and talk about your estate planning questions, needs, and where you should go from there. Anyway, if you found this information helpful, or entertaining or interesting, please share it. If you know anyone that this information would be helpful to, please share it with them. I would appreciate it. Please, if you wanna comment below, hit the Like button, I love to see those things.

Until next time, take care, goodbye.

About the Author Donald Rolfe

Father, husband, entrepreneur, and owner of a trivia filled brain. I help families and individuals plan for the unexpected and end of life. Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session to chat with me, get answers to your questions, and find out about your Estate Plan options.

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