Will or a Trust?

Should I get a will and/or a living trust? What’s the difference?  p.s. Don’t forget the Medical part!

Everyone wants to ensure that their worldly possessions go to whom they want in the case of their demise.

What’s the difference between a will and trust?
In a nutshell, wills have to be probated through court. That means it costs money, it takes months to settle and people can contest your will. Plus your financial affairs are a matter of public record. But, they are a great way to be specific about who gets what items (Aunt Petunia gets the piano…).
Living trusts avoid probate, allow you to control how and when your assets are dispersed when you are deceased and also allow for you to spell out who will handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. In general, they cost more than a will, but they keep your estate from having to go through probate. They are also more difficult to contest.
Durable Power of Attorney– Make sure you get this document when planning your affairs. This is particularly important for LGBT couples. Durable Power of Attorney documents are good for day to day items (you need your partner/spouse to sign a legal document on your behalf).It is also important if you become incapacitated or have a medical emergency. You have it spelled out, in writing, who is going to be making medical decisions for you. We’ve all heard of incidents where a partner is shut out of the family decision on how to care for someone in the hospital because they aren’t“next of kin”. This is problematic in states that don’t recognize gay marriage. So don’t leave it to chance. Get it in writing. Most Durable Power of Attorney forms do cover medical incapacitation. General Power of Attorney forms do not. They terminate when a person becomes incapacitated. It is best to see an Estate Planning Attorney to see what set of documents best fits your situation. This is not meant to be specific legal advice for your particular situation.

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management and affiliated with LPL Financial.
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, an independent investment advisor. Silver Key Wealth Management is separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, VA, TX.

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