At The Law Firm of Bruce A. Danford, LLC, we talk with many Colorado residents who wonder which they should choose for their estate plan: a will or a trust. The fact is that both can be very useful tools, and the right choice depends on a variety of factors specific to each person’s situation. In general, however, here are a few things you should know about your options:
- Trusts: With a trust, you (the grantor) give over control of certain assets to another person or institution (the trustee). The trustee then manages the assets for the benefit of your children or other designated parties (the beneficiaries). In some cases, you can be the grantor and the trustee at the same time. This arrangement typically allows you to skip the probate process.
- Wills: With a will, you write down exactly what you want to happen to your property after you pass away. You can also name guardians for underage children. In most cases, creating a will means going through probate. However, this is not such a daunting prospect as it used to be. The Uniform Probate Code streamlined the process, making it less complex and less expensive.
- Pour-over wills: This is a combination of the above. You create a will, and after your death the assets pass through probate and then into a living trust.
If I Go With A Trust, Which One Do I Need?
Trusts come in a bewildering array. Each type is intended to accomplish a specific purpose, so you will want to talk with an experienced estate planning attorney about which one (if any) is right for your unique situation. Here are just a few types:
- AB trust for married couples
- Accumulation or complex trust
- Charitable trust to benefit a specific charity
- Generation-skipping trust to provide for grandchildren
- Life insurance trust
- QDOT for noncitizen spouses in the U.S.
- Special needs trust for disabled loved ones
Let’s Talk About Your Particular Estate Planning Needs
To discover whether a will or a trust is a better choice to accomplish your long-term goals, call The Law Firm of Bruce A. Danford, LLC, at 303-410-2900 for a consultation. You can also contact our Colorado lawyers online. Our office is conveniently located in Broomfield, with easy access and free parking.