People with property and assets want to distribute their possessions in a manner that may differ from the way a state decides to do it. They may want to hand over their gifts and property to girlfriends, boyfriends, children, spouse, brothers , sisters , neighbours, charitable organisations or any other person rather than their first relative, and this is an impossible task unless they sign over succession in a judicial capacity.
Wills and trusts are the best way to distribute property and assets. A deceased person’s possessions, assets, belongings and property can be dispersed appropriately after death with the help of legal or judicial tools termed as wills and trusts.
A will names an executor and guardians for families and children, deal with debts, and hands over property to the decided inheritor. Wills are legal documents created in lawful language and they are witnessed and signed by witnesses and authorised signatories. A will makes sure that your wishes regarding the handover of your personal assets are followed and the rightful inheritor gets the property. The will has a few salient features like:
- Making trusts for beneficiaries
- Assigning Guardians for property and children
- Making an executor who distributes property, assets etc and hands it over in proper hands as stated in the will. The creator of the will names the executor.
Trusts can be made during the lifetime of the owner and can be executed after the person’s death. For both wills and trusts a registered and practicing lawyer is needed. Judicial intervention and legal documentation is needed for making these valid. Both wills and trusts mean handing over assets to beneficiaries but they serve different purposes:
- Will is like a statement that is drawn, signed by the authorities and witnessed according to the laws of the State.
- The will document has beneficiaries and details of all the belongings.
- An executor or administrator is important in the drawing up of a will as he will manage the asset distribution after death.
- Minor children can also be raised by a guardian if need be so do name one in your will or someone else might end up looking after your children.
- Dying without making a will for the beneficiaries can be detrimental because the latter may lose out on benefits if the court hands over the property to undeserving people.
- A probate is needed for legal transfer of property in a will but it is not in case of Trusts.
- In a trust, a legal document is drawn up in which a relationship is established with a qualified trust company or a person with the owner. There is a trustee appointed who holds the assets and property like stocks, estate, bonds, business interests, money, belongings, collections, automobiles, personal possessions, for the beneficiaries.
- Two or more people are involved in a trust. The trustee and the grantor. The grantor makes the trust and he donates or keeps the assets in the trust for the beneficiaries, then there is the trustee who manages the property on the behalf of the grantor or donor and the beneficiaries. The trustee controls the assets in the trust and then passes them to receivers later.
- Trusts are made in the owner’s lifetime and the cash, bonds, stocks, business, property, are handled by a trustee. The trustee who has been named in the legal document manages assets and also pays living expenses and bills. After death the trustee acts according to the wishes of the owner and distributes the property.