ClickCease Wills & Trusts Questions - FAQ - SimplyWilled.com

The main difference between a last will and testament and a revocable living trust is that a last will and testament becomes effective only after you pass. In contrast, a revocable living trust becomes effective as soon as you sign the trust agreement. In addition, a last will and testament is a document that provides instruction on who will receive your property when you pass and it appoints a legal representative known as a personal representative to carry out your wishes. By contrast, a revocable living trust can provide for the distribution of property before you pass, at your death or even many years after you have passed. A revocable living trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a 'trustee,' holds legal title to property for another person, called a 'beneficiary.' A revocable living trust usually has two types of beneficiaries -- one set that receives income from the trust during their lives and another set that receives whatever is left over after the first set of beneficiaries dies. A last will and testament governs any assets that are exclusively in your name when you die. It does not govern assets held in joint tenancy or in a revocable trust. It is important to remember that a trust, on the only governs assets that have been transferred to the trust. In order for assets to be included in a revocable trust, those assets must be put in the name of the revocable trust.

No. With SimplyWilled.com you don’t need an attorney to create a legally valid will. We make it simple for you to create your will and other estate planning documents in just a few clicks.

Here at SimplyWilled.com we believe everyone should have their own estate planning documents. We do not provide for the creation of a joint will for married couples on our service. However, married couples can make their individual estate planning documents including a last will and testament for each spouse using the same SimplyWilled.com account.

Updating or editing an existing last will and testament by way of a codicil can be a tricky process, which often requires hiring an attorney. At SimplyWilled.com we like to keep things simple where possible. Replacing an existing will is Simple —use our service to create a new last will and testament and avoid the hassle of editing. Be sure to execute the new will in accordance with the instructions on its cover page. You should also make sure to destroy your old will to avoid any confusion.

Your last will and testament, and other estate planning documents should be drafted based on your state of primary residence. Your state of primary residence is the state where you live the majority of time, where you have a driver’s license from and where you vote.

Having an estate plan allows you to provide for your family and loved ones. A comprehensive estate plan which includes a last will and testament, a revocable living trust, healthcare power of attorney, durable general power of attorney and living will, can ensure that your property goes to the right beneficiaries, make sure that individuals have been appointed to carry out your wishes as well as provide direction on what to do in the event of your incapacity.

Your estate may be governed by the laws of the state where you reside. This can result in the probate court deciding how your estate gets distributed and can sometime result in lengthy and expensive court cases to settle your estate.

If you die without a will, the distribution of your estate will be subject of the probate court and will be governed by the law of intestacy in your local jurisdiction. This can result in a distribution of your estate assets under the laws of intestacy, which may be counter to your wishes.

A written document with instructions for the distribution of an individual’s assets after death.

Your living trust is unfunded if you have not transferred assets into it.

A personal representative is another name for executor or administrator.

Per Stirpes is a way of distributing your estate so that your surviving descendants will receive only what their immediate ancestor would have received if him/her had been living at your death. It comes from the Latin phrase meaning "by roots," by representation. The term is commonly used in wills and trusts to describe the distribution when a beneficiary dies before the person whose estate is being divided. Example: "I leave $50,000 to my daughter, Gigi, and if she shall predecease me, to her children, per stirpes."

The net estate is the value of an estate after all debts have been paid. (Federal estate taxes are based on the net value of an estate).

A codicil is a written change or amendment to a Will.

An administration is an individual or entity, such as a trust department, appointed by a court to settle the estate of a person who has died without leaving a valid will.

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