Client-Centered Solutions

Can A Will Or Trust Protect Your Family’s Future?

You cannot predict the future, but you can plan for it. Proper estate planning is an essential part of providing for your family.

I am attorney Joseph H. Beale, and my job is to help you understand your options. I can help you decide how to make sure that your will is carried out after your death and that your family’s financial stability is preserved.

Which Is Better: A Will Or A Trust?

Wills are quick to create and inexpensive. Everyone, regardless of their age or assets, should have one. They allow you to direct almost everything, including the final disposition of your remains, guardianship of your children, the designation of your heirs and the disbursement of your personal possessions. For many people with simple estates and few assets, wills are a good option.

Trusts allow you to bypass probate entirely. Probate can be a lengthy process, which can tie up your assets and put your family under significant financial strain. Probate can also drain your assets of their value unnecessarily.

With a trust, you pass your assets directly to a trustee to help free your family from financial concerns. They are often useful for people with significant assets and complex estates.

I will take the time to listen to your goals for your family after you are gone, then carefully walk you through your options. I am not satisfied until my clients understand what works best for their needs, whether that is a simple will, a trust or both.

Frequently Asked Questions About Trusts

My clients often have the following questions about trusts:

What types of trusts do your attorneys create for your clients?

There are many different trusts with endless variations. Some of the most common include:

  • Revocable living trusts: With this trust, you can modify the funds included at any time and control how and when beneficiaries receive their inheritance. You may even revoke this trust if you are unsatisfied with its use.
  • Irrevocable living trusts: Once made, the grantor cannot change the contents or instructions of or revoke an irrevocable living trust. This can ensure the privacy of an estate, protect assets from creditors and reduce taxes.
  • Special needs trusts: A beneficiary may be negatively impacted by a trust if they receive government benefits such as supplemental income and health insurance. A special needs trust can provide comfort to a beneficiary and allow them to retain their special needs benefits by limiting the frequency of fund disbursements.
  • Pet trusts: If you expect to outlive your pet, you may create a pet trust to provide for their continued care. Funds in a pet trust could be used to finance your pet’s needs, such as food, shelter, vet appointments, etc., with the help of a caretaker.
  • Charitable trusts: We can help you set up a charitable trust to support a charity or nonprofit after your passing.

I can go over your many trust options and help you strategize the best use of a trust in your estate plan.

Who is most likely to benefit from having a trust?

Many people would benefit from having a trust added to their estate plan. Many of our clients create trusts to manage large estates. If it is believed that the contents of an estate would create controversy, this could be avoided with a trust since assets placed in a trust bypass the estate. Trusts can also ensure the care of those with chronic health conditions or disabilities.

If you are unsure if a trust will benefit you, I can help you explore all the possibilities.

Start Planning Your Family’s Financial Security Today

Your family deserves to feel secure, no matter what the future may bring. Do not put off this process any longer. I will make it as painless and simple as possible.

To talk to a lawyer who can help make your estate planning process easy, call me at 571-335-3735 or email me through my online form. With offices in Herndon and Aldie, I assist clients throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.