Home » Fundamental Estate Planning » Wills vs. Trusts - The Basics

Wills vs. Trusts — The Basics

Serving Individuals, Families and Farmers throughout Northwest, Southwest and South Central Kansas


Living Trusts give the most flexibility in planning and we almost always recommend them to our clients. Below is an explanation of the basic differences between a will and a living trust.

Living Trust

Advantages

  • Allows you to avoid the expense and delay of probate proceedings (in most states), which can take up to a year or more to complete and eat up 5% of the value of your estate.
  • May eliminate the need to probate property if you own property in another state.
  • Allows immediate transfer of management of your property if you become incapacitated either physically or mentally—no need to go to the court to appoint a guardian or conservator.
  • Protects your privacy—remains confidential and does not become a matter of public record.
  • Enables you to name someone you trust to manage trust property for young beneficiaries.
  • Enables spouses to more easily use both spouses’ estate tax exemption.

Disadvantages

  • Requires quite a bit of initial paperwork and can be relatively expensive to set up.
  • Requires you to transfer ownership of all the property you wish to place in the trust. This may include revising title documents.
  • Property owned in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship, may adversely affect the use of both spouses’ estate tax exemption.

Will

Advantages

  • Often simpler and less expensive than setting up a living trust.
  • No need to transfer any property to create a will or make it valid.

Disadvantages

  • Requires probate to implement your will, which can be both costly and slow.
  • Becomes a matter of public record through probate.
  • Actual distribution of your property is usually controlled by the probate lawyers, working with the executor of your will. This can be both expensive and unpleasant.
  • Does not provide for transfer or management of your assets or property if you should become physically or mentally incapacitated.

Read Our Blog

Estate Planning Articles

Our daily blog discusses issues pertaining to Estate Planning, Probate Administration, Special Needs Planning, and Elder Law / Medicaid.
Read Our Blog

Join Our eNewsletter

Join Our eNewsletter

Each month we send an e-newsletter covering issues of Estate Planning. We also have subscriptions available for our bi-monthly Elder Law e-newsletter and weekly Business Planning e-newsletter.
Subscribe Now!

Request an Initial Consultation

Schedule a Time to Meet Our Team Today

Graber & Johnson Law Group, LLC is devoted to serving clients in the highly specialized areas of estate and business planning. Book a time to meet the Graber & Johnson Law Group Kansas Estate Planning Law Firm.
Request a Consultation

Have Questions?

If you have a a question, a comment, or simply want to have a conversation and explore how we can help, we’d love to hear from you.
Request a Consultation Now

Office Locations

Manhattan Office

714 Poyntz Ave., Suite C
Manhattan, KS 66502

Directions

Hugoton Office

517 S. Main St.
Hugoton, KS 67951

Directions

Elkhart Office

701 Vilymaca St., PO Box 450
Elkhart, KS 67950

Directions

Hutchinson Office

517 E. 30th Ave., Suite B3
Hutchinson, KS 67502

Directions

Garden City Office

1501 E Fulton St.
Suite 3
Garden City, KS 67846

Directions

Norton Kansas Office (Appointment Only)

201 E Holme St.
Norton KS 67654

Manhattan Office

714 Poyntz Ave., Suite C
Manhattan, KS 66502

Get Directions
Hugoton Office

517 S. Main St.
Hugoton, KS 67951

Get Directions
Elkhart Office

701 Vilymaca St., PO Box 450
Elkhart, KS 67950

Get Directions
Hutchinson Office

517 E. 30th Ave., Suite B3
Hutchinson, KS 67502

Get Directions
Garden City Office

1501 E Fulton St.
Suite 3
Garden City, KS 67846

Get Directions
Norton Kansas Office (Appointment Only)

201 E Holme St.
Norton KS 67654

Get Directions
Integrity Marketing Solutions - Estate Planning Marketing
Powered by
crosschevron-down