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The Most Important Decision with Wills and Trusts

Perhaps the single greatest divide in estate planning is between those people who use the last will as their primary estate planning tool and those who use a revocable living trust instead. Choosing between using a will or a trust has a great impact on estate plans and often on what can be done with the estate plan.

Last wills must go through probate and be subjected to judicial oversight. This can be very expensive in some states. Trusts avoid probate.  However, that means there is not as much oversight.

Whether someone should use a last will or a revocable living trust depends on many factors that should be discussed with an estate planning attorney. However, one important decision needs to be made for both last wills and trusts, as the Knoxville City View points out in “To Will or To Trust.”

Both documents require deciding who should carry out the directions in the documents. In the last will, that person is called an executor. In a trust, that person is called a trustee. Sometimes, people decide who should fulfill those roles, without thinking about it very much.

They just pick someone they know and like. If an executor or trustee is not an appropriate choice, it can be harmful to any estate plan. The people in these roles need to be financially responsible and must be willing to take their roles very seriously. It is also helpful if they get along with everyone the last will or trust is designed to benefit to avoid any potential conflicts.

Contact a qualified estate planning attorney for advice regarding appropriate candidates for these essential roles.

Hear From Our Clients
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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce