Will Vs Trust?

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Will vs. Trust: Navigating Probate and Asset Distribution in California

Deciding between a “Will vs. Trust” in California can shape how your estate is handled, especially concerning probate. This article will guide you through the key differences to help you make the best choice for your estate planning needs.

Intestacy in California: What Happens Without a Will or Trust?

If you die without a will or trust in California, your estate falls into “intestate” status. State law then dictates how your assets get divided, all under Probate Court oversight. To understand who gets what in such cases, check out our Consanguinity Table.

Wills in California: Probate is Still the Game

Opting for a will? In the “Will vs. Trust” battle, note that a will still places your assets in probate. However, the Probate Court will use your will as a guide, ensuring your wishes for asset distribution are respected.

Trusts in California: The No-Probate Option

If dodging probate is your goal, then in the “Will vs. Trust” decision, a trust wins. When you create a trust, your assets go into it, managed by a trustee. Since they are no longer solely in your name, they bypass the probate process altogether.

Quick Tip: Trust Management Matters

One thing to remember in the “Will vs. Trust” dialogue is that for a trust to effectively avoid probate, all your assets must be included in the trust. Make sure to fund your trust completely.

Conclusion: Making the “Will vs. Trust” Decision

Choosing between a will and a trust impacts not only probate involvement but also how your assets are managed. In California, wills simplify asset distribution but can’t escape probate. Trusts dodge probate but need careful management. So, when pondering “Will vs. Trust,” consult an estate planning attorney to tailor the right plan for you.


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