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Are trusts just as useful as wills?

Wills are perhaps the most well-known estate planning tools in Arkansas. However, they are far from the only option available to those who are ready to plan for the future. Trusts can also be a great option for many people, and in some cases may even be a better choice than using a will.

Trusts may seem confusing or only for those who are very wealthy, but they have benefits for virtually everyone. With a revocable trust, a person can maintain control over his or her property, or can leave that job up to another trusted individual. It is even possible to make changes or even revoke the trust altogether. These trusts can also include not just the creator's assets, but also those of other people. A will only addresses the property owned by a single individual.

If a person opts for a will, his or her estate will have to go through a process called probate, which will validate the authenticity of the document. This can take upwards of six months or longer and has associated legal fees, putting more stress on family members who are left behind to deal with things. With a trust, property can immediately be dealt with according to the grantor's wishes. Not only is it faster and cheaper to use a trust in many situations, but it keeps everything out of court and therefore out of the public record.

While wills have an important role to play in estate planning, trusts are often overlooked. Some people in Arkansas may have negative impressions about trusts, such as assuming they are only for the very rich or that they are complicated to set up. In many cases, setting up a trust takes about the same amount of time and effort as establishing a will. This is why it is important to consider all options when estate planning.

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