A Different Degree of Wealth

The Difference Between a Will, a Living Will, And a Trust, and Which One is Right For You

Estate planning is a crucial process for anyone interested in ensuring their wishes are respected during their lifetime and after their death. It involves drafting legal documents that govern how your assets should be handled, who should make decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated, and how your estate should be distributed to your heirs. The cornerstone documents in estate planning include Wills, Living Wills, and Trusts, each serving distinct purposes and offering different benefits. Understanding these documents and their implications is essential for effective estate planning.

What Is a Will?

A Will, or a Last Will and Testament, is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets and estate to be distributed after your death. It details who should inherit your property, who will be the guardians of any minor children, and appoints an executor to manage the estate and carry out your wishes.

Key Aspects of a Will:

  • Subject to probate (the legal process through which a court oversees the distribution of your estate).
  • Can be contested, which may lead to family disputes or legal challenges.
  • Must be properly signed and witnessed to be legally valid.

When to Use a Will:

Creating a Will is fundamental for anyone who owns property or assets and wishes to specify heirs. It is particularly crucial for parents of minor children to appoint guardians in the event of their premature death.

What Is a Living Will?

A Living Will, often referred to as an advance directive or healthcare directive, is a legal document that spells out your preferences for medical treatment in situations where you are unable to communicate, such as severe illness or incapacitation. This document is critical for guiding healthcare providers and loved ones in making decisions about life-sustaining measures, including artificial life support, tube feeding, and CPR, based on your predetermined choices.

Key Aspects of a Living Will:

  • It becomes effective under specific conditions, such as terminal illness, coma, or severe brain damage.
  • It can include a Medical Power of Attorney (POA), designating a trusted person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
  • It’s legally binding once signed and witnessed, and it overrides family members’ decisions unless they have been appointed as your healthcare agent.

When to Use a Living Will:

A Living Will is advisable for anyone who wishes to have control over their medical treatment and end-of-life care. It’s especially pertinent for individuals with strong preferences about not prolonging life artificially or for those with chronic or terminal illnesses.

What Is a Trust?

A Trust is a legal entity into which you can transfer assets for the benefit of specific beneficiaries. It specifies how and when your assets will be distributed and can be used to manage your estate both during your lifetime and after your death. Trusts can be revocable, allowing changes during your lifetime, or irrevocable, which are permanent with no changes allowed.

Key Aspects of a Trust:

  • Avoids probate, facilitating a quicker and more private distribution of assets.
  • Can be more complex and expensive to set up than a Will.
  • Offers greater control over when and how your beneficiaries receive their inheritance.

When to Use a Trust:

Trusts are suitable for individuals with sizable or complex estates, those concerned about privacy, or anyone wishing to provide for minors or dependents with special needs in a structured manner. They are also beneficial for avoiding probate and potentially reducing estate taxes.

Integrating Wills, Living Wills, and Trusts into Your Estate Planning

Choosing the Right Documents:

  • A Living Will is essential for healthcare decisions, ensuring your medical wishes are honored without placing the burden of those decisions on your loved ones.
  • A Will is necessary for anyone who wishes to dictate the distribution of their assets and appoint guardians for their children, ensuring their legacy is passed on according to their wishes.
  • A Trust offers a sophisticated way to manage your estate, providing benefits like avoiding probate, reducing estate taxes, and controlling the timing and manner of distribution to your beneficiaries.

Combining Documents for Comprehensive Estate Planning:

In many cases, a comprehensive approach that incorporates a Living Will, a Last Will and Testament, and one or more Trusts offers the best strategy to cover all aspects of estate planning. This approach ensures that your healthcare preferences, asset distribution, and estate management goals are all addressed in a manner consistent with your wishes.

Successful Estate Planning

Effective estate planning is a multifaceted process that requires careful consideration of your personal, financial, and health-related wishes. By understanding the roles and benefits of Living Wills, Wills, and Trusts, you can make more informed decisions that ensure your desires are respected, and your loved ones are provided for according to your specifications. Learning the ins and outs of estate planning is incredibly important, but consulting with legal professionals specializing in estate planning is crucial to navigating the complexities of these documents and developing a plan that best suits your unique circumstances and goals.

See Chapter 7 of “Wealth on Purpose” by Bryan Ballentine for more information on estate planning.

Sources: Located at the bottom of the article

Golf Tip of the Week

Don’t Walk Past The Cable Machine. It Can Really Help Your Golf Swing

Ask any trainer what their clients should be working on in the gym and you’ll likely get some version of this answer: “The exact opposite of what they usually do.” Whether you realize it or not, there’s a good chance you gravitate toward exercises and fitness routines you’re comfortable doing. There’s a reason why yoga classes are dominated by women and the barbell bench is usually occupied by a man.

Golf Digest Certified Fitness Trainer Ryan Elsass says there is a bunch of great equipment in the gym that you might be ignoring because those things are either too intimidating to use, or you’re not sure how to use them—especially in a golf workout.

One such apparatus is the cable machine, says Elsass, who trains golfers at RTE Health & Performance in Pittsburgh. A lot of the cable machine’s attachments never get taken off the rack.

“The question that needs to be answered is, why are people walking past the equipment in the first place?” he says. “Do they just not know what certain pieces of equipment are meant for, or do they look at something like a kettlebell and are scared to use it because of what they’ve seen or heard?”

Elsass says two cable-machine attachments every golfer should use are the rope and the short handle. The rope is typically only used for triceps pulldowns and the short handle doesn’t get used at all. But there are several exercises golfers can do with these tools including things such as chops, rows and pallof presses.

Spend 10 or 15 minutes on the cable machine doing the exercises Elsass demonstrates in the video below. And here’s a brief rundown of how each benefits your golf swing.

1-2. Rope Split-Stance Chops and Lifts

“Chops and lifts are exercises that are tailored for a lot of aspects of life, but are suited perfectly for the gofer,” Elsass says. “I like them because they both help with tempo, core and shoulder strength and have many variations that can shift focus to weight transfer, balance or torso strength.”

“Maintain a stable split-stance position, hold onto the rope with palms down, arms spread apart. Keeping the arms straight, pull down (or up) diagonally from the anchor. Make sure not to allow the weight to pull you out of position and to stay in the split-stance position. Variations include: adding rotation to the movement, changing your stance to half-kneeling or tall-kneeling or adding squats or lunges to the movements.”

3. Short-handle side planks

“This is an anti-rotation exercise to develop strength and endurance symmetry in the core muscles around the spine,” Elsass says. “Adding the element of the row will develop strength in the shoulder girdle. and the straight bar will make the hand/wrist/forearm muscles stronger.”

“Maintain stability and don’t allow the weight to pull you off balance. Keep your planted arm directly under the shoulder joint. If needed, you can make this move easier by resting your knees on the ground.”

4. Short-handle swings to impact

“This movement can be used to build either strength or speed in your golf swing. It’s the most “golf-like movement” of these exercises, with an emphasis on dissociation of the upper body from the lower body.

“Keep your hips back at all times as you load up like a backswing and then rotate and pull down on the cable. Stop at impact and then slowly load into another backswing. Start with a light weight to ingrain the correct movement.”

5. Short-handle negative pallof presses

“This anti-rotation exercise helps build stability, loading all the muscles needed when you rotate your torso in the golf swing.”

“From an athletic stance, hold the short handle far enough away from the cable machine so it’s taut. While keeping your body still, make slow circles with the handle using your arms only.”

Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi

Recipe of the Week

Guinness Brownies

16 Brownies


  • Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • One 11.2-ounce bottle stout beer, such as Guinness® Extra Stout
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 of the sides. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.
  • Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and kosher salt in a medium bowl until combined.
  • Slowly pour the Guinness into a medium saucepan, trying to make as little foam as possible. (Hold the pot at an angle and press the lip of the bottle to the side of the pot and slowly pour. This should help eliminate foam.) Bring the beer to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup, 12 to 13 minutes (you may need to pour the beer into a liquid measuring cup a few times to make sure it is reduced enough). Add the butter and whisk constantly until melted, about 1 minute. Add the bittersweet chocolate and whisk constantly until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the granulated sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract until just combined. Add the flour mixture and stir slowly until combined, taking care that none of the flour spills out of the pot. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Bake until set on top, the brownies have slightly pulled away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle the flaky sea salt on top.
  • Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then use the parchment overhang to remove the brownies from the pan to a cutting board and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.



Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork.comii

Travel Tip of the Week

Flight Attendants on TikTok Share the 11 Travel Essentials They Refuse to Fly Without

If there’s one thing that we all can do to travel safer and more efficiently, it’s taking advice from the most frequent of fliers: flight attendants. Considering how often flight attendants are on the go, they’ve truly mastered the ins and outs of air travel — and they’re spilling their secrets on TikTok to make your next flight as hassle-free as possible. 

Don’t have the time to scroll through “Flight AttendantTok?” That’s where I come in. I’ve  scoured the social media app to find the internet’s tried-and-true travel essentials, each handpicked by flight attendants themselves (think: great carry-ons, personal safety items, dark circle-banishing skincare, and more). Even better, these picks can all conveniently be found at Amazon, where prices start at just $4.

Travelpro Maxlite Softside Expandable 22-Inch Carry-on

An excellent carry-on should be the star of any travel stash, and this Travelpro suitcase is not only well-loved by over 3,000 Amazon shoppers, but it’s also flight attendant-approved and guaranteed to make packing for your next trip a breeze. In fact, aside from its spacious build and four multidirectional spinning wheels, TikTok user @flghtattendantlifewkait shared that this suitcase also has a genius J-shaped hook that “many flight attendants and crewmates use to attach additional bags” to, so you can carry multiple bags at once without putting too much stress on your back. 

Addalock Portable Door Lock

TikTok-famous flight attendant Alexis Castroman (@casflightattendant) recommends this portable door lock as a “great level of protection when staying in a hotel.” In a video, she also shared that it’s easy to set up, thin, and lightweight, which means that it’s the ideal personal protection tool to travel with. When you’re headed to a new spot, you can never be too safe, and this lock will give you peace of mind during your travels. 

Emdmak Portable Door Alarm

Another important personal safety gadget recommendation, these portable door alarms are top travel essentials for TikTok user @flyingwithskates, who demonstrated their usefulness in a now-viral video. In it, she stressed that “hotel safety is important when traveling for work and vacation. When I travel, I love adding an extra layer of protection behind the door and use this door alarm stopper to alert me in the event of someone trying to get in my room.” It’s compact, easy-to-use, and incredibly loud. Oh, and it has a “do not disturb” setting for functional use. 

Iniu Portable Charger

TikTok creator @Ciciinthesky pulls from her vast knowledge as a flight attendant to help users travel safer. Last April, she shared a PSA urging travelers to “avoid using public charging stations, especially those with USB ports” because they put you at risk for having your personal data stolen. And to do just that, she recommends keeping a portable charger with you in case your devices need an extra boost of charge. Right now, shoppers can score this top-rated one for as little as $13 thanks to a special on-site coupon. 

Apple AirTag 4-Pack

Few things can ruin a trip like lost luggage, and fortunately, @Ciciinthesky has found a solution to ease the worry of being separated from your personal belongings: Apple AirTags. In a TikTok video, she said that these Bluetooth trackers are convenient and effective ways to track your luggage. As a bonus tip, she noted that travelers should hide the tracker “where people can’t find it,” whether that’s in a side pocket or tucked away in a secret pouch. Stock up on Apple AirTags while this handy four-pack is on sale at Amazon. Having multiple AirTags means that you can stick them in every bag, which is perfect because she also urged travelers to add one in your carry-on suitcase in case it gets checked at the gate.

Medpride Alcohol Prep Pads

The key to building a foolproof travel routine is to have incredibly useful items in your bag. And because @Ciciinthesky is a genius when it comes to packing, she recommends that travelers bring a stack of alcohol prep wipes with them on their next trip because of their underrated versatility; you can use them to reduce nausea by smelling them, deodorize stinky shoes and your under arms if you forgot deodorant, or disinfect your phone. These multipurpose cleaning pads are compact and will serve you on several trips to come. 

The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream

Does hopping on an overnight flight or embarking on a long travel day leave your under eyes feeling dry and puffy? Flight attendant and skincare enthusiast @trendiguyd always travels with this affordable eye cream from The Inkey List to “help get rid of puffiness under the eyes.” I also swear by this $11 eye cream because it’s formulated with brightening caffeine and hydrating peptides to make you look like you got a full eight hours of sleep — even if you’re barely had a sip of coffee.  

Tide To Go Stain Remover Stick Set

As a messy eater who loves wearing white, I personally never go anywhere without a Tide To Go stick, so when I saw that flight attendant and TikTok creator @Travelsbyandra shared that she also “always has [her] Tide Pen with [her],” I felt affirmed in my travel accessory choices. In her video, she went on to explain that her “scarf always gets dirty” and her Tide stick is “a quick fix” to keep her looking pristine. Accidents happen, but they’ll be a worry of the past with this compact stain remover. 

Alpha Keeper Money Belt Bag

After flight attendant @shawniece got pickpocketed, she vowed to never let it happen again by upgrading her personal security accessories with the Alpha Keeper Money Belt Bag. This fanny pack-style bag lays flat underneath your clothes and acts as an inexpensive way to protect your money and important documents during travel, according to the TikTok creator. I’ve got a trip to Europe coming up, and I just pressed order on this genius solution to safeguard my things on the go. 

Eversnug Travel Blanket and Pillow Set

Speaking of genius multi-purpose travel accessories, TikTok creator and flight attendant @wonderfullyale recommends this two-in-one pillow and blanket set, especially “if you’re someone that gets cold on airplanes.” In a TikTok video, she explained, “You can have a pillow to just lay your head on, or if you get too cold a blanket to keep warm.” And as if it couldn’t get any better, it comes with a clip so you can attach it to your suitcase or hang it up in your hotel. 

Evian Facial Spray Travel Size 

Miami-based flight attendant @allycase1 shared on TikTok that she “always keeps this facial spray on her” when traveling. It helps keep her skin hydrated while on the go, which is imperative for someone who is constantly exposed to the drying recycled air on flights. If you need a bit of a skin refresh on the plane or before your next outing, consider adding this $9 spray to your toiletry bag. 

Tip adapted from travelandleisure.comiii 

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Ballentine Capital Advisors is a registered investment adviser. The advisory services of Ballentine Capital Advisors are not made available in any jurisdiction in which Ballentine Capital Advisors is not registered or is otherwise exempt from registration.

Please review Ballentine Capital Advisors Disclosure Brochure for a complete explanation of fees. Investing involves risks. Investments are not guaranteed and may lose value.

This material is prepared by Ballentine Capital Advisors for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation or any particular security, strategy, or investment product.

No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve future profits or losses similar to those shown. You should not assume that investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable or equal the investment performance of the past. Past performance does not indicate future results.

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