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All about wills and trusts

Without question, it is helpful to have lawful protection of assets in writing when planning for the inevitable event of death. A way to do this is with wills and trusts. Wills are fairly basic and detail who will receive assets upon death. However, several different types of trusts exist so a trust can be more confusing for Virginia families.

Basically, trusts are made up of three parties: the beneficiary, the trustor and the trustee(s). The beneficiary receives the benefits of the trust. The trustor is the person who grants control of assets to the trustee. The trustee is then responsible for managing the assets. 

A living trust is a trust that is composed while the trustor is alive and allows the individual to use the benefits while living. The assets will then be passed to the beneficiary when the trustor dies. A trust that can be altered by the trustor is known as a revocable trust. In an irrevocable trust, the trust cannot be altered until after the trustor's death.

A trust is just a way to pass along assets from one person to another. Although there are several different types of trusts, each type has unique features to serve specific purposes. Finding and selecting the type of trust to serve a family's specific needs can be confusing. Those in Virginia who have questions regarding wills and trusts may want to consider discussions with an experienced attorney. A legal representative knowledgeable in estate planning can answer questions and provide guidance to help families through the process of securing their future and protecting loved ones.

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