Trusts are often touted as the superior estate planning vehicle because of the different tax benefits they offer and the way they make it possible for heirs to avoid probate proceedings. However, wills come with certain advantages, too.
For example, a trust will run into problems if the trustees named in the document, as well as the successor trustees, have all passed away by the time the trust grantor passes away. No trustee will be available to manage the trust or make a claim against it. In such cases, beneficiaries will need to go to court to resolve the matter, and it may be time consuming and difficult to get it resolved.
The will equivalent to the trustee is the executor. Unlike trusts, though, wills have a special process by which to appoint a replacement executor in the event that the named executor has passed away. The process can go through seven levels of executors if necessary. This is a clear advantage of a will.
Still, this is not a reason to avoid using a trust. Indeed, as long as trust grantors keep their trusts up to date, and revise any named trustees and/or successor trustees following one of their deaths, then the problem can be prevented in the vast majority of situations.
There are circumstances when a will is more appropriate than a trust, and the opposite could also be the case depending the scenario. Florida residents who want to evaluate whether a will or trust is best for their situations might benefit from speaking with a Florida estate planning attorney about the subject.
Source: Centre Daily Times, “Money matters: Wills can be better for passing property than trusts,” James M. Rayback, accessed Dec. 24, 2015