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Heritage Tree LogoWhat is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust in Pennsylvania?

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As you may know, creating an estate plan is something everybody should do, as it can protect their assets and their best interests, as well as that of their families, for years to come. Two of the most important estate planning documents in Pennsylvania are wills and trusts. Read on and reach out to our seasoned Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys to learn more about the difference between a will and a trust and how both of these documents may benefit you and your family in the long run. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Why should I write a will?

Everyone should write a will before passing on, and for several reasons. To start, in your will, you can list what you would like to happen with most of your assets upon your passing. Additionally, you can also create guardianships, powers of attorney, and more in your will. In your will, you will appoint an executor (a trusted individual to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes) and beneficiaries (the people who you wish to receive your assets). When someone fails to create a will, they die “intestate,” which often leads to various legal troubles down the road. When this happens, it may result in confusion, arguments, and, ultimately, your assets will most likely not go to the right people, or they will otherwise be distributed disproportionally. Fortunately, this can all be avoided by drafting a will, and our experienced firm can help you draft a will that best suits the needs of you and your family.

What is the purpose of creating a trust?

There are various reasons why a person would create a trust. Essentially, a trust is a contract between your estate and the trustee you, the trustor, will appoint. When you do so, the trustee will manage the trust on behalf of the beneficiary of the trust. Trusts will often bypass the probate process, and they frequently help families save on taxes, which, in turn, maximizes the inheritance beneficiaries may receive. There are various trusts individuals can choose from in Pennsylvania, and our firm can help you pick the trust that best suits your needs. Some of the most common trusts are irrevocable trusts, revocable trusts, life insurance trusts, testamentary trusts, and special needs trusts. If you have any other questions or would like to learn more, our firm is here to help you today.


Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team that you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.

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