Trust v. Will...?

Guardianship for Minors

"Pour Over" Wills

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Have You Wondered?
Have you sometimes wondered about how well-prepared you are for the future?

Many people have told us that their familiarity with estate planning and probate is limited; many more say their wills are not up to date and few are aware of the extent to which an elder law firm can simplify these processes.

Our website offers simple answers to these and similar questions.

Or, please feel free to contact us if we can be of help in any way.


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Revocable Living Trust v. Last Will & Testament

People often ask about the difference between a will and a trust. There are numerous benefits to executing a revocable living trust as opposed to a last will and testament, in particular the following three:

Probate: Once property is transferred into a revocable living trust, it does not go through Probate, which is the legal process that proves a will of a deceased person is valid, so that their property can be retitled or transferred to beneficiaries of a last will and testament. Instead, after your death the successor trustee (the person you appointed to become the trustee after your death), transfers ownership to the beneficiaries you named in your trust. This process can be as quick as a few weeks. In addition, if you have property in other states, a last will and testament requires Probate in each of those states. This is commonly referred to as “ancillary Probate”. By placing your property into your revocable living trust, however, you can avoid all Probate and the trust assets can immediately pass to your beneficiaries.

Privacy: Unlike a last will and testament, a revocable living trust is a private document, and is thus not published.

Control and Simplification: Upon executing a revocable living trust and placing assets in it, you will continue to enjoy all the present benefits of your assets without any changes in your ability to control them. In addition to a revocable living trust not complicating the management of your assets during your lifetime, it also simplifies the transfer of your estate to your beneficiaries upon your death.

Guardianship & Management
for Beneficiaries Under Age 18

Questions about guardianships and management for those under the age of eighteen are also quite common.

While your beneficiaries are minors — that is, under age 18 — the trustee can manage and invest the trust funds, free of the oftentimes considerable costs and restrictions that arise when a Probate court must appoint and supervise a guardian of the property until the beneficiary reaches the age of majority.

Furthermore, guardianships terminate upon the beneficiary reaching age 18. Obviously, all children do not mature at the same rate, and it is thus not always a good idea to have a young adult gain control of significant assets at that age. With a revocable living trust, management of a beneficiary’s assets can continue beyond the age of 18, free of Probate court involvement, to whatever age you specify. For example, you can easily dictate that at age 18 the trust beneficiary be given 25% of the assets, another 25% at age 22 and the remaining 50% at age 25, if that is your wish.


"Pour Over" Wills

Are you familiar with "Pour Over" wills?

If so, then you know that a “pour over” will is used in conjunction with a revocable living trust. This document is designed to “pour” anything of yours that was not placed into your revocable living trust during your lifetime into it after your death. You might think of it as a “safety net.”

Chances are, you’ll never need a "pour over" will, but if an unexpected need arises, it’s good to have.



Curtin Law Office - 40 Bay Street - Manchester, NH - 603.669.7700