PACIFIC PARTNERS LAWYERS
Wills & Testamentary Trusts
Wills are legal documents created by you or another living person that says what is to happen upon the Will maker’s death.
The Will maker and the person making the Will.
The executors or trustees of the estate or property of the dead Will maker. These hold the property on “trust” and are legally required to give the property to the persons/companies/trusts named in the Will. Sometimes they will be required to “hold” the property for many years, such as where a person has left property for children who are not yet old enough to inherit the property.
Beneficiaries. These are the persons/companies/trusts who are to inherit the property as stated in the Will.
Estate. This is all your property you own that can be given to the beneficiaries.
Probate. This is the process whereby the executor goes to Court to “prove your Will” so that they can then deal with the property of the Estate.
BENEFITS OF A WILL:
If your estate is simple and straightforward usually a Will is suitable. After the setup cost, there is no ongoing fees.
Wills capture everything so nothing is missed.
TESTAMENTARY TRUSTS OR LIVING TRUSTS
All trusts are either revocable or irrevocable.
Revocable meaning it can be changed by the maker.
Irrevocable means it can only be changed by the beneficiaries.
The trust being a legal entity created to hold and manage property of your estate while you are alive. But it can also say what is to happen after you die.
A Testamentary Trust “sits beside” your Will, that is, it only commences at death.
A Living Trust is created during your lifetime and allows you to control, manage and deal with the property as you want. Being a living trust means that because the property is already “sitting” in the trust no probate is required and everything is kept private.
Able to focus on specific property they want to give to others.
Suitable for complex type estates. Complex estates can be when there are many assets, businesses and companies. Also, where there are a number of former spouses and children from a number of partners, or where the person is worried that a beneficiary may not be able to manage receiving the property. In such cases it may be best to use a Will and Testamentary Trust combined.
If you want a Will or a Testamentary Trust, please contact us.