The trend has already begun, but I suspect that in the coming decades you will see traditional wills diminish as part of an estate planning tool and be replaced with a living trust. Although the set-up costs are higher for a living trust, the advantages are so much greater that the value proposition is clearly worth it.
When you create a will, you are creating a plan for your assets that will be executed after you die. A traditional will has no legal effect while you are alive, and comes into operation to distribute your assets at the moment of your death. Annuities, life insurance, and other retirement plans operate through a direct-to-beneficiary format dodges the will/probate process unless these accounts name the creator’s estate as the beneficiary.
The downsides of using a traditional will to process your estate have come under harsher scrutiny recently. Courts have jacked up probate … Read the rest of this article!