Estate Planning Attorney Loudoun County
Wills & Trusts Attorney Serving Northern Virginia
Engel Law Offices – Estate Planning with Wills & Trusts
Will vs. Trust: What Is The Difference?
Last Will and Testaments
A Virginia last will and testament directs the distribution of your estate upon your death to chosen beneficiaries; it may also name guardians for minor or dependent adult children. This directive must be signed by you, the testator, and witnessed by two impartial individuals who are not beneficiaries. Without a will, the strict Virginia intestacy laws will instead dictate the distribution of your assets.
A will is crucial to ensure you have the opportunity to specify how you want your affairs handled after you pass. However, it’s important to know that such directives become a matter of public record once the county probate court oversees its proper execution.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that enables you (the grantor or trustor) to designate a third party (the trustee) to hold and manage assets on behalf of your chosen beneficiaries. The trustee must follow the precise terms of the trust to invest, protect and distribute the assets.
Unlike wills, trusts are not subject to probate court. Therefore, trust agreements offer privacy that wills do not. Since they avoid probate, trusts offer a faster and simpler way to transfer assets to beneficiaries by avoiding court delays or complications.
There are several different types of trusts that can be leveraged, which offers different levels of flexibility in asset transference and agreement revisions. Regardless of the type of trust best suited for your situation, these types of legal arrangements tend to offer the greatest specificity and efficiency in asset transference with the least expenses and complications.
Will and Trust Creation: Which Is Right for You?
At Engel Law Offices, we consult with you to determine the best estate planning strategy based on your goals, needs and situation. No matter how complex your estate, our team will work with you to identify and craft the right solution(s) for you and your beneficiaries.
Often, creation of both a will and trust provides the greatest legal protection to shield assets while limiting public exposure through probate. Our team helps you understand the various types of trusts and wills – their functions, benefits and drawbacks – in order to develop a comprehensive, fully customized estate plan.
Only after deciding the proper strategy do we move forward with estate planning arrangements – creating or amending wills and trusts for our clients in order to protect their legacy, assets and beneficiaries.
Benefits of Estate Planning
Life is unpredictable, and it’s important to decide ahead of time how you want your assets distributed to your heirs and beneficiaries after your passing. In any event (incapacity or death), you want to ensure you’ve taken advantage of the pertinent legal protections offered by wills and trusts. Without proper estate planning, you leave it up to the probate court to allocate your assets according to Virginia laws without any input from you.
By creating a will and trust, you’re able to provide for your family and beneficiaries while minimizing court fees, legal delays, potential taxes and loss of privacy. Let Engel Law Offices help you prepare for this inevitability, reduce risk and protect your beneficiaries with a customized estate plan.
Contact Engel Law Offices about Our Will and Trust Offerings
Our unwavering commitment to excellence, compassion and collaboration allows us to consult with our clients to create the ideal solution for their estate planning needs. Engel Law Offices is here to help you with comprehensive estate planning – schedule your confidential consultation today.