Wills vs Trusts: What do they do?

Matt:
Trusts and wills. Do you know the difference between the two? You really should. Chris Shreves, the president and CEO of Securus Circle of Advisors joins us this morning. He is here with Brian Quinn, partner with Quinn Estate and Elder Law LLC. Chris, Brian, gentlemen, good morning to you.

Chris Shreves:
Good morning, Matt.

Matt:
I feel like we’ve had this conversation before, and I feel like I had homework to do, and I’ve failed miserably. Five children, still don’t have a trust, still don’t have a will, and frankly, I have no idea how much time I have left. I could go at any minute.

Chris Shreves:
Shame on you.

Matt:
I know. I know. So, first of all, let’s start with the basics. Give us the difference between trust and will.

Brian Quinn:
Well, probably the most common question I get when someone comes in at first to do their estate planning is, “What’s the difference between those two things?” A common misconception that I hear a lot is, “Well, I’ve done my will, I think I’ve done my estate planning. I’ve tried to avoid the court process.” A will is only good if you have to go through the court process. So, it’s something where most of the time, it’s drilled in people’s heads, “We don’t want the court to be involved in administering our estate.”

Brian Quinn:
A trust is a great way to put a set of instructions in place in case you need to. Maybe you pass away with some money you want to leave to five different children. A trust is a great way to set up a way where you’ve got a vehicle in place, where the court doesn’t need to be involved, where property is administered for their benefit moving forward. It can be minor children, it can be grandchildren. Could be disabled children, or you just want to make sure that things go smoothly without needing to go to a judge to tell you that it’s okay to go ahead and pay that money out to your beneficiary.

Matt:
Gotcha, so it’s sort of skips that middle man and a lot of that legal quagmire that you can get caught up in, I guess. So, wills I think of as having an executor. Is there a trustee for the trust? Someone who will take ownership of this once that unfortunate time comes and it’s time to break out this document and go through it?

Brian Quinn:
Yes, absolutely. Usually what we have is we not only have your first trustee, and oftentimes that’ll be the person that’s setting it up will be their own trustee, at least until they get to the point where they can’t do it any longer. And then you’ll usually have a series of, maybe, family members, good friends, or even third-party companies that can administer the trust for the benefit of whoever you’ve put it in place to benefit.

Matt:
Gotcha. So, we talk a lot, Chris, about the Circle of Advisors. Having all those people under one roof, I would imagine, is advantageous in that there could be some tax implications, right? On things that are handed down via a trust versus things that have to go through probate or through that court process, right?

Chris Shreves:
Yeah, that’s correct. I mean, it’s all about cutting expense, in the end, and time. You know, the other thing that Brian does a lot for clients of ours, especially when he tries to package it up, is powers of attorney for healthcare and finance, which, quite frankly, I don’t care what you have heard on this show with regards to what we do, but I can tell you, those are the documents that are probably the very most important documents one could get. And you can come in and see Brian in our office, there’s no charge for the first visit, or really any other visit thereafter. Just what you want to do or need to get done.

Matt:
If people just want a little bit more information, you have some classes coming up that’ll help instruct [crosstalk 00:03:12]

Chris Shreves:
We do, at St. Charles Community College, May 2nd and 9th. It’s two days, so it’s a series of classes that will teach you the different things that we actually have available for clients to understand. It’s just a teaching, it’s not a selling event or anything like that, I promise you. But if you’d like to come, just call the office and they’ll tell you the dates and the time, and they’ll get you registered for the class.

Matt:
Okay. Gentlemen, thank you very much. Chris, Brian, we appreciate both of you stopping by. Important. You gotta think about these things now, because if you find yourself in that lurch and you don’t have these documents, you’re going to think … I know. He’s looking at me, like, “Why don’t you practice what you preach?”

2018-12-27T17:24:18+00:00January 10th, 2018|