Wills and Trusts
Both wills and trusts can be used to instruct how one's assets should be distributed after death. So what is the difference? One of the most important differences is that the instructions you leave in a will typically must be "approved" by a judge before they can be carried out - a court process known as probate. The instructions you leave in a trust document generally do not need any judicial involvement or oversight in order to be carried out. This also means that the use of a trust will usually maintain family privacy where a will and any other document (like asset inventories or distribution lists) that may be filed in a probate matter are public records.
So, which one is right for you? That question is nearly impossible to answer without sitting down and discussing your situation and your goals with a qualified attorney. At Kootenai Law Group, we would be happy to schedule a free, no obligation initial meeting with you to discuss these matters.