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Oklahoma Estate Attorneys, PLLC.

Is A Living Trust More Expensive Than A Will?

Initially a living trust is more expensive than a will because it is more work at the beginning. It is, however, less expensive than a will when you consider the entire cost of the estate, such as the potential likelihood of probate and the potential for a guardianship that might be avoided under the living trust. The living trust is more expensive initially and less expensive over time whereas the will is less expensive initially and more expensive over time.

As to maintenance, both a will and a trust need to be maintained in order to achieve the outcome you desire. With each of those, you will need to make changes or at least review them and consider changes whenever anything significant happens in your life. There is really not a great difference to the maintenance cost between a will and a trust.

Does A Person Need A Minimum Amount Of Assets In Order To Create An Estate Plan Or A Trust?

Absolutely not, there is no minimum for assets to create an estate plan. There is no statute or rule that requires a particular level of assets for a will or a trust. For all practical purposes, everyone should at least have a will because quite often there can be a probate even if there are no assets. Let me give you an example. If you pass away as a result of an automobile accident, it is possible that your family will want to bring a lawsuit for your wrongful death. In Oklahoma, the person that can file that lawsuit would be the executor in your probate. So long as you at least have a will, you will have the opportunity to tell the court who you trust to be your executor and file such a claim.

Therefore, it is important to have a will even if you do not believe there are any assets to pass under the will. On the other hand, a living trust is most important for people who have at least some real estate, or financial accounts and would generally like to save your family the cost and time of probate. Real estate and financial accounts are the two sorts of assets that tend to throw cases into probate. If, however, you put your real estate and your financial accounts into the name of the trust, they would not be subject to probate, but there is not rule or even a reliable guideline on the amount of assets necessary for creating a will or a trust.

Does A Will Address A Customized Plan In Case Of Incapacity?

Unfortunately, that is not possible in Oklahoma. A will does not have any affect so long as you are alive. If, however, you come to our office and draft an estate plan and not just a will, we have estate planning packages that include plans for incapacity, plans for who might become a guardian or your power of attorney, or plans for your care should you become ill and near death. But the will itself does not provide guidance or help with planning while you are still alive.

Who Is A Will Best Suited For And Who Is A Trust Best Suited For?

A will works best for families that have such tension and stress that no one will fully trust one another to be in-charge of the estate without any real supervision. If your family does not have someone whom you fully and utterly trust, and who is likely to still be alive and capable of being in-charge of your estate, the will is probably going to work best for you because there will be court supervision, court reviews, and opportunities for the other family members to see exactly what is going on with your estate.

A trust works better for families where there is a high degree of confidence among the family members, or where there is at least one family member or one friend who is utterly trustworthy, completely reliable and willing to serve your estate and take care of your final affairs. In summary, a trust works better where there is at least one trustworthy person and a will works better where there is a need for supervision.

What Should Someone Consider When Deciding On Whether To Create A Will Or A Trust?

One of the first things to consider is whether it is important to you to save money over the long term by creating, a trust; or whether you need to save money now and are willing to spend more money over the long term by considering, a will. The second issue is whether you believe there needs to be court supervision of your estate. If you do believe there needs to be court supervision then a will is the best option for you. If you do not believe there should be court supervision, then you should be thinking more about a trust.

For more information on Expenses Of Trusts And Wills, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 754-4166 today.

Terrell Monks, Esq. - Estate Planning Attorney, Edmond City

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(405) 754-4166

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