A will can be considered the cornerstone of all estate plans. A legal document that can have a significant impact on your family, a will lets you decide who will manage your money, and it effectively transfers your assets to your intended beneficiaries after your death. Making a will is especially important if you have disabled or minor children because it lets your wishes be known with regard to their future care.
A will can be amended at any time and it is a good idea to review it periodically, especially if your marital status changes.
A trust is a document that can be used in estate planning in conjunction with a will or as a separate document. Individuals may control the distribution of their property during their lives or after their deaths through the use of a trust. There are many types of trusts and many purposes for their creation, but among the most common are: trusts for the support of a surviving spouse or disabled or minor children; trusts designed to avoid or minimize involvement with probate court; and trusts designed to minimize tax liability when a gift is made to a beneficiary.
Trusts are complex legal documents and may not be appropriate in all cases. Before creating a trust, you should speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable on estate planning issues.