I’m Peter Jordan, I’m an attorney with the Jordan Balkema Elder Law Center, servicing families in northern Michigan. Clients come into my office and they ask me what’s the difference between a will plan and a trust plan?
Basically, I explain to them that both of these plans are good plans. The will plan has a power of attorney, financial power of it also has a patient advocate agreement so if you’re unable to make medical decisions for yourself, you name someone to act on your behalf.
It also includes a will, and in the will you will name who your personal representative will be and how you want the assets to be distributed at the time of your death. Keep in mind that with the will plan there will be an expense.
The expense will be about five to six percent of the size of your estate. Also, there’s a time factor at the time of your death, it will take six to nine
months to probate the estate, and that’s a minimum. Also keep in mind that when we file the papers with the probate the public. These papers will indicate who your beneficiaries are, what their addresses are, and what they’re going to from the will.
The trust plan also has a power of attorney if you should become incompetent and a patient advocate agreement, whereby you appoint someone to
act on your behalf if you cannot make medical decisions for yourself.
It will also have a provision as to how you want the assets to be distributed at the time of your death. The main advantages to a trust
plan is that it avoids probate. There would be less expense than the will plan, there’ll be less time involved, and all of this information is not open to the public.
What makes our firm unique from other law firms is that we offer a one-hour free conference for you to come in and talk
about your particular situation and how we can help you.
I look forward to meeting with you.