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Trust Your Local Firm

Reno Wills & Trusts Lawyer

Skilled Estate Planning Counsel for Every Need

Most Americans don’t have a will or trust prepared before they pass away, largely due to the perception that estate planning is only for the wealthy. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. No matter the size or scope of your estate, putting your affairs in order now may prevent your family and loved ones from dealing with difficult conflicts later on.

Here at Merrill Law, PLLC, our Reno estate planning lawyer can help you understand all the differences between a will and a trust, and create a comprehensive estate plan that will work best for your unique needs. By offering direct communication, extensive legal resources, and compassionate counsel, we can help set your mind at ease for the future.

Don’t wait to get your estate planning documents together! Call our Reno estate planning lawyer at (775) 302-2624 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Key Differences Between Wills and Trusts

While there are many different forms of estate planning documents, the most commonly used are wills and trusts. Under Nevada law, any individual over the age of 18 with a sound mind can create these documents. Although these terms are often viewed as interchangeable, there are several basic differences between the two that you should know about.

What Is a Will?

Also known as a “last will and testament,” a will represents all your final wishes for your property, and it will only take effect once you (the testator) pass away. Covering much more than just property distribution, a will allows you to you name an executor or estate administrator who can manage your affairs once you have passed on.

Because of its breadth, your will can also include designated guardians for any young children, as well as specify your funeral preferences. All wills are reviewed in what is called the probate process, becoming part of the official public record.

What Is a Trust?

Unlike a will, a trust can only cover the specific property and assets that have been added into it – and because the terms of a trust must remain private, your trust will not have to go through the probate process. This has two primary benefits: Firstly, it allows you to keep certain transfers private; and secondly, it can significantly streamline the probate process for your family and loved ones.

When most people speak about trusts, they mean a revocable living trust, which goes into effect from the minute it’s signed and authorized. The grantor (the person creating the trust) will name a trustee who will manage the trust, and ensure that all its terms are fulfilled. You can change a revocable living trust at any time, but this isn’t the case for all types of trust. This is one of the reasons it’s important to review the terms of any documents with a skilled estate planning attorney.

If you need help determining which document is right for you, you’re not alone in this process. Just contact Merrill Law, PLLC to schedule your estate plan consultation in Reno!

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    “I would recommend Matt for any family matter that required adjudication in Northern Nevada”

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    “Well-spoken, experienced, kind, and direct, Matthew Merrill is a professional on whom one can count!”