Should we have a will or a trust?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Should we have a will or a trust?

My wife and I have no children and have financial assets in multiple mutual funds. We would like to have the funds sold and the proceeds distributed to family and friends at the time of death. What would be the best estate vehicle to do this?

Asked on July 11, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A will would be best and easiest: that is the entire purpose of a will--to distreibute assets upon death. 
A trust is best if you want to essentially maintain control over the assets after death. For example, say that you don't quite "trust" your children or whomever you are giving the money to in that you don't think they can handle it all at once: you might set up a trust so they get 5% or 10%, etc,. per year, doling it out in manageable chunks. Or if you want to ensure that future generations get money, you set up a trust that only gives so much to each generation. But this does not sound like what you need or want to do, so go with a will.

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