Estate Planning Documents

The two primary documents that someone thinks about with estate planning are Last Wills and Revocable Trusts. Wills provide for the distribution of assets at death through a court process called probate and name a guardian to take custody of any minor children. A personal representative or executor is appointed by the probate court to collect a deceased individual’s assets, pay final bills and taxes, and distribute any remaining assets to that individual’s beneficiaries.


Revocable Living Trusts are generally used to allow for asset distribution without probate. Trusts are set up during lifetime by naming a trustee to manage assets. At death, the trustee wishes the deceased person’s wishes generally without court supervision.