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  • Blacksburg Office

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    2000 Kraft Drive
    Suite 2165
    Blacksburg, Virginia 24060

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    Brian Mack was most helpful in explaining the "legalese" when he was working with me recently. I went in with little or no knowledge of what I was going to need, and he immediately made me feel at ease and not as skeptical as I feared this...
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Is a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust best for you?

Is a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust best for you?


You typically want what is best for your family after your death.  This desire includes making everything pass smoothly to your chosen beneficiaries.  Under Virginia law, you have several very common options to assist you in planning ahead.  The first option is a well drafted Last Will and Testament (Will), while the second option is a Living Trust.

A well drafted Will, while it can be complex, tends to be less complex than a Living Trust.  Your Will is the roadmap that is used during Probate, and when drafted carefully can prevent arguments between your relatives.  Typically, a Will is recommended when your estate is small or there are few actual assets.

A Living Trust is more complex than a Will.  A Living Trust is both Revocable and Amendable during your lifetime, and you can add assets immediately or specify the assets to go into the Living Trust after your death.  Upon your death, the Living Trust then becomes Irrevocable and the appointed Trustee either manages the Irrevocable Trust for the benefit of your beneficiaries or winds up and terminates the Irrevocable Trust according to you wishes.  You can also appoint a contingent Trustee to take care of you if you become incapacitated or to manage the Trust for your beneficiaries after your death.

Both the Will and the Living Trust have their advantages and disadvantages and should be carefully reviewed when drafting your estate plan.  This discussion comprises only a small portion of the advantages and disadvantages and you should consult with an experienced attorney to be able to make an informed decision.