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What is the difference between a will and a trust?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2022 | Estate Planning

Creating an estate plan is the best way to protect your assets when you are gone. It allows you to decide what happens to your property when you pass.

There are many different elements to an estate plan that you can customize to suit your needs and desires, but the most common are the will and the trust.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document in which you can outline how you would like to distribute your assets. You can also include your plans for who will take care of your minor children after your death.

In general, a will is simpler than a trust, and it requires a probate process after you pass, whereas a trust does not.

What is a trust?

A trust is an arrangement in which a grantor, as known as a trustor,  holds and administers your assets on your behalf. The biggest difference between a will and a trust is that the will only goes into effect after you pass, and a trust goes into effect immediately after signing.

If you want a trust but do not want to give control to a trustee while you are alive, you can use a living trust that allows you to change and control the trust until your death.

Which one is better?

Wills and trusts serve specific purposes and neither is better than the other. To choose which is right for you, you will need to adequately assess your personal and financial situation.

Wills and trusts are not mutually exclusive. You can have both if the need arises because they both do different things.