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What’s the difference between a trust and a will?

A trust is a legally binding document involving three key elements: a trustor, a trustee, and a beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries. The trust is created to give the trustee authority to manage property for the named beneficiary. The purpose of this document is to avoid probate and keep the trustor’s assets away from the wrong hands.

A will is a document that directs how the document holder wants their property to be distributed in the event of their passing. This document also specifies the deceased’s final wishes, arrangements, and guardianship of their children.

What happens when someone passes away without a will or trust?

Those who die without a will have died “intestate,” meaning the state the decedent resides in will decide how their assets should be distributed. In Texas, the decedent’s assets go to the closest relatives. For example, if a person passes away without a will and they leave behind a spouse and children (legally), the spouse will inherit a multitude of things, including:

  • Community property
  • One-third of their deceased spouse’s separate personal property
  • The right to use the deceased’s real estate for life

The children will also inherit everything else. However, it’s crucial to note that if a person passes without a will and their beneficiaries are not alive, the property will end up being transferred in accordance with intestate succession.

Who can make a trust?

You can set up a trust with an estate planning attorney, digital estate planning services, or on your own. However, speaking with an estate planning lawyer is highly recommended as it must meet specific requirements to operate properly.

Estate Planning Attorneys

If you have more questions about a will or trust, the team at Albin Oldner Law, PLLC is here to answer them. Call us today to get in touch with one of our estate planning experts. You deserve to have peace of mind that your family and friends are taken care of in the event of your passing.

Call us today at (214) 423-5100 or visit our website to get started on a consultation request form.

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