Gevurtz Menashe

PDX 503.227.1515
WA 360.823.0410

Wills and Revocable Trusts

Wills & Trust attorneys in Oregon & Washington
Wills and revocable trusts are the cornerstones of an estate plan. They allow you to direct how and when your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries, and to appoint who will make important decisions on behalf of you.

Talk to an Attorney

Wills & Trust attorneys in Oregon & Washington

Contact Gevurtz Menashe today to start the planning conversation. It is after all, our favorite part. Our attorneys are experienced in setting up Wills and Revocable Trusts that will ensure you and your loved ones are taken care of well into the future.

Wills vs. Revocable Trusts—What’s The Difference?

Both a Will and a revocable trust allow you to direct where you want your assets to pass upon your death. Additionally, both a Will and a revocable trust can deal with any estate tax issues which may need to be addressed. Generally, a revocable trust provides two benefits over a Will: the trust avoids the expense and delay of probate and it allows you to plan for incapacity.

A Will can accomplish many of the same goals as a revocable trust as far as determining who will receive your assets upon your death. A Will is a much simpler document than a trust and does not require you to retitle assets like a trust does. Wills may be ideal for those who have less complicated estates. If, for instance, you do not own any real estate and are passing on some cash, a life insurance policy, and a retirement fund to your spouse or loved ones, then a trust might be more than you need. Additionally, if avoiding probate is not a large concern and/or transferring assets to a trust is not something you want to deal with, a Will may be a better fit for you.

Additional Benefits

The second benefit of a revocable trust is that if you become incapacitated and cannot manage your financial affairs, a “successor Trustee”, whom you have previously named in the trust document, is appointed to manage your trust assets for your benefit. This ensures that your assets will be managed for your benefit during your lifetime, even if you become unable to make those decisions for yourself.

A revocable trust does have some downsides when compared to a Will, however. First, a trust is typically more expensive to set up as it is a more complicated document and requires more expertise to prepare than a Will. Second, trusts require a level of continued attention during your lifetime which Wills do not. A revocable trust only controls the assets it owns, which means that assets without a beneficiary designation or joint ownership need to be transferred to the trust. If assets are not owned by the trust upon your death, they will be subject to probate and one of the key benefits of the trust will be lost. This requires some diligence to ensure assets are titled properly so that the trust operates as intended.

​The Probate Process

Probate is the process by which a court oversees disposition of a person’s estate, including collection of assets, payment of expenses, and distribution of the remaining assets to that person’s beneficiaries. The probate process typically takes six months to one year to complete. If a revocable trust is in place and properly funded, your assets will pass to the beneficiaries named in your trust without having to go through probate. Gevurtz Menashe estate planning attorneys have extensive experience helping people navigate estate administration and probate issues.  Learn more about probate administration.

Start Planning Today.

Planning is half the battle. Call Gevurtz Menashe today to consult with our experienced estate attorneys. We’ll review the differences between a will and a revocable trust while helping determine which approach is best for you and your loved ones. To schedule a consultation, call our Portland offices at 503-227-1515, our Vancouver offices at 360-823-0410, or contact us online anytime.

Call our Portland, OR offices at: 503-227-1515
and our Vancouver, WA office at 360-823-0410
or contact us to request a consultation.