Many of us have thought about protecting our loved ones in the awful event of becoming severely incapacitated or dying. You may have thought about various aspects of estate planning such as protecting property for certain family members, the management of that property or reducing the associated tax burden. Two common tools that are associated with estate planning are a will and a living trust. Even if you're in your 30s, and especially if you have a family, you may want to create a will or a living trust to give you piece of mind. What are some of the key differences between these two devices?
Before comparing some of the key com ponents of a will versus a living trust, let's define the entity called a probate court. A probate court, or surrogate court, is a special type of court dealing with the debts and property of a deceased person. The probate court judge attempts to make sure the deceased individual's creditors are paid properly, and that the assets that remain are distributed to the correct beneficiaries.