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Living Trusts and Wills, Part Four

Over the past several posts, we've delved deeply into living trusts and personal wills, why you might use one instead of the other - or even both of them together. When it comes to estate planning, the most important thing is to have a plan.

While the choice between a personal will and a living trust is an important one, without either, everything you own will be thrown into question.

We discussed the way in which wills are probated in court. When someone dies without an estate plan in place, his or her assets also go to probate. The difference lies in how much sway the court holds over the future of said assets.

In a case where no estate plan, even a brief one, is in place, the court takes it upon itself to properly allocate your assets. This costs money and takes time, usually both in copious amounts.

2010 was a strange year for those building an estate plan. 2011 doesn't look to be much more straightforward. For one, the estate tax is still in limbo and no one seems to have any idea where it will be come January.

Outside of that, there were other things this year that made estate planning trickier and, in some situations, more beneficial. With a mere month and a half left in 2010, not counting the two major holidays contained within, time is running out for those hoping to have estate plans in place or updated by the end of the year.

If you're considering an estate plan, regardless of the type, now is the time to make your move.

Source Article

Deciding between a living trust and a will (New Jersey Star - Ledger)

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