A will vs a living trust


Both a will and a living trust will determine what happens to your assets when you pass away. But a living trust will avoid probate.


Mike: My wife and I are trying to decide between living trust and will, and the question is, if we both pass away, is it will justice contestable as a living trust or vice versa?

Attorney Tom Olsen: I don't see any difference between a will or a trust as far as somebody contesting it or the legal validity of it being challenged. Let me ask you, you sound like a young man, Mike, do you all have children and what are their ages?

Mike: We're not so young and, no, we don't have children. Just nieces and nephews.

Attorney Tom Olsen: What you really asked me is the difference between a will and a trust, and this is this. Both of them will dictate what happen to your assets when you pass away, but if you have a standard will your assets are going to go through probate. If you have a living trust and you do it right, your assets are not going to go through probate. Now, Mike, we're all about helping people avoid probate, but usually we're focusing on simple tools to avoid probate. We consider a living trust to be a complicated and expensive tool for avoiding probate. It can be the right tool for some people, but we'd like to first go through and see if we can use simple tools for avoiding probate.

Mike: Okay, such as?

Attorney Tom Olsen: For example, you can have a bank account in you and your wife's name, and if you make that bank account POD, payable on death, and you both pass away whoever you leave that bank account to, all they have to do is to show the bank your death certificates and they'll turn the money over to them. No probate required. Making your bank accounts POD is just one of these simple tools we're talking about.

Mike: Can we do that with property such as a house.

Attorney Tom Olsen: For a property, we have a special tool called a Lady Bird deed. It’s a deed that we would prepare. It would state that as long as one or both of you are alive, it is your home to do with as you please, but when you both pass away, your home would automatically go to your heirs. No headaches, no hassles, no probate. That's another simple tool we're talking about, Mike. Mike, the good news is we have a booklet on easy ways to avoid probate and I'd recommend that you or other listeners out there, get one if you haven't gotten one yet. If you want easy ways to avoid probate booklet, all you have to do is call or text Chrissy anytime at 407-808-8398.