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Articles from State Farm® to help you understand the differences between wills and trusts and why you need them.

Articles about wills and trusts

What is a will and why do you need one?

A will is a legal document that establishes who will receive your assets from your estate and can appoint guardianship of minors.

Types of wills and trusts

What are the differences between a basic will, pour-over will, tax-saving will, living trust and more? Learn more about wills and trusts in this informative article.

What is the difference between a will and a trust?

Wills and trusts are an important part of estate planning. Wherever you are in the planning process, know your options.

What does the executor of a will do?

When named the executor of a will there are many responsibilities to fulfill.

Preparing a living will & end-of-life care choices

It's not the most pleasant task, but making your preferences known in a living will has to be done.

Avoiding probate

The probating of a will permits a court of law to supervise the transfer of assets from the decedent to his or her heirs.

Common estate planning mistakes

Forgetting to change beneficiary information is a common mistake when planning an estate. We break down estate planning dilemmas and more.

Questions about Social Security survivor benefits

Who is eligible for Social Security survivor benefits? We break down what survivor benefits are, explain how to claim survivor benefits and identify who qualifies.

Leave a home or property to a beneficiary

What are the implications of passing on property to heirs? We review how to leave real estate in a will and prepare for this transition.

Leaving money to a charity in your will

Including philanthropy in your estate plan requires asking yourself a few key questions.

Gifting to Grandchildren

Leaving a legacy can be complicated. We review the best way for grandparents to give money to grandchildren.

Estate planning articles

Does everyone need estate planning?

An estate plan does more than just offer direction for assets. Estate planning can help others execute your wishes and take care of those you love.

What is digital estate planning?

As technology continues to evolve, it's vital to understand what happens to your online accounts when you can no longer manage them or pass away.

Estate planning for the terminally ill

Estate planning is an important step in everyone’s financial preparations, but estate planning for the terminally ill is even more crucial. Learn how.

When should I update my estate plan?

Marriage, death and divorce are definite times you should review your estate plan. Here are some others.

What to consider when choosing a beneficiary

What factors should you consider when choosing a beneficiary?

Review your estate planning checklist

This handy estate planning checklist form can provide thought-starters for tasks involved with planning your estate.

Steps for a personal financial plan

It's never too early or late to begin financial planning.

Take time to create a financial emergency plan

It's hard to plan for the worst when times are good, but if a financial emergency strikes, you'll be happy you did.

How long to keep documents before shredding

Do you know how long to keep tax records, bank statements, utility bills and other important documents? Here are some suggestions to help.

How to talk about money with your aging parents

Discussing finances with your parents is complicated. Here's how to talk with your parents about money.

Estate planning for individuals with special needs

How to use life insurance to help a special needs child or adult

From life insurance to a special needs trust, here's what you need to know to keep your loved one financially secure.

Special needs guardianships: How to ask

The key to discussing special needs guardianships is to plan ahead and be clear about your needs.

Special needs financial planning

Creating a special needs financial plan for a loved one requires extra preparation.

Care & jobs for a special needs child or adult

When it comes to special needs care, the options range from minimal assistance to full-time care.

What is a special needs trust?

Learn how a special needs trust could help address the lifelong financial needs of a loved one with special needs.

Building a special needs estate plan

Planning for the care of your loved ones if you're not there is important. It's critical when you are responsible for an individual with special needs.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.