Those who live in North Carolina or any other state could benefit from creating either a will or a trust. While neither is better than the other, they provide different ways for a person to create an effective estate plan. A trust is considered its own entity that is allowed to own property and transfer it per its terms. If a person has a living trust, he or she can be both the beneficiary and the trustee.
However, it is important to note that since the trust owns the property, it would need to be involved in the sale or transfer of an asset. Trusts can be put into place while an individual is alive as opposed to a will that only takes effect after a person passes on. Trusts can remain in effect after a person passes, or the trustee can settle a deceased individual's affairs on his or her behalf.
Another benefit of using a trust is that it doesn't have to be recorded. A will does need to be recorded, which means it will become part of the public record. With a trust, the only people who will know about its terms are its beneficiaries. Furthermore, there will be no need for assets in a trust to go through probate as opposed to assets transferred by a will.
A trust may be an effective way to provide asset protection for the grantor of the trust as well as for its beneficiaries. Individuals who value their privacy may also wish to use this tool as opposed to creating a will. An attorney may be able to help a person learn more about the potential benefits of a trust or how to create one. Furthermore, the attorney may review any document that already exists.