Trusts & Wills Lawyer in Huntsville
An Approachable, Experienced Practice You Can Rely On
Robertson Law founder and attorney Michael Robertson has been guiding the residents of Huntsville and North Alabama through the process of estate planning for nearly two decades. If you’re considering making a will or a living trust, but aren’t sure where to start, Attorney Robertson’s extensive experience and soothing manner will set you right at ease. He always goes the extra mile, providing every client the attention to detail and compassion they deserve.
Need help creating a will or living trust? Contact us today!
Understanding the Difference between Wills & Living Trusts
Both wills and trusts allow you to name beneficiaries for your property and possessions. Otherwise, the two documents serve different purposes.
Most people create a living trust in order to avoid probate. Living trusts allow you to name beneficiaries for your property, leave property to minor children, and protect from future challenges in court. Living trusts also remain private even after your death.
However, the process of creating a living trust can be quite difficult, and they have their limits. You cannot use a living trust to:
- Name a legal guardian for your children or minors under your care
- Instruct on how you would like your taxes and debts to be paid
- Choose an executor (a person who will manage assets on your behalf after your passing)
For those purposes, you will require a will.
A will is a comprehensive and universal document stating who will inherit your assets, what they will inherit, and when. They are generally very easy to make and don’t even require the services of a notary.
Not only are wills simple to create—they save your family from hassle and stress in the long run. Wills can also:
- Name beneficiaries for your property
- Name an executor who will manage your estate after you die
- Provide detailed insight into how you would like your assets handled
- Make it much easier to get through probate
What Are the Four Basic Types of Wills?
Are you considering creating a will to outline your assets and beneficiaries? Not sure what type to create? An attorney can help come up with the right solution for you. The 4 types of wills include:
- Type 1: Simple Wills
A typed will which includes the individual’s name, address, marital status and instructions on which property goes to which beneficiary, the executor of the state. The witness must also sign at the time of creation. Used when all that is needed is direction on how to distribute assets and the estate to the beneficiaries. As long as it is not complicated, a simple will is sufficient.
- Type 2: Testamentary Trust Wills
Includes provisions that place a portion of the estate in a trust. The beneficiaries receive the benefits through the trustee who controls them.
- Type 3: Join Wills
Often used for spouses who plan to leave their property to the other. The surviving spouse will inherit everything in the estate, and when that spouse passes the remaining estate will be distributed to the couple’s chosen beneficiaries. The will cannot be revoked once the first spouse passes away.
- Type 4: Living Wills
Provides detailed instructions about the medical treatment you want to be used for yourself if you are unable to communicate your wishes for yourself. Those measures have to be followed if the instances of the will took place.
The attorneys at Robertson Law have experience helping clients figure out which will most fit their needs and their needs after they pass. Call us today for a case review and to schedule a consultation!
Are Wills Public Record in Alabama?
In Alabama, a person’s will becomes public record after their death. According to the Alabama Code Section 36-12-40, government officials in charge of public records have an obligation to provide access to those records. Citizens have a right to inspect and take a copy of the documents.
Do I Need a Will or Trust?
Everyone should consider creating a will; not everyone requires a living trust. This is because trusts tend to serve a more limited and specific purpose. Huntsville trusts and wills attorney Michael Robertson can help you choose which is best for you and your family.
By Alabama law, if you pass away without a will or living trust, your property will be distributed among your spouse and children according to “intestate succession.” Set your affairs in order now while in good health so you can be in full control of who is entitled to which of your assets, not the government.