A will is a legal document that explains who will receive your property at your death and it appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. By contrast, a living trust may be used to distribute property before death, at death, or afterwards.
Most estate plans may have a will and one or more trusts. Usually one document is more important than the other and serves as the foundation of the estate plan with the majority of the estate passing through it.
A will and a Trust are vehicles that you are driving remotely and you may decide the role each vehicle serves in your path/estate. One basic choice is to own most assets in your name and determine their distribution through your will.
Another path is to have a revocable living trust own most of your assets and have the terms of the trust agreement state how those assets are distributed. The best choice for one person might not be best for another.
An important difference between a will and a trust is that property subject to a will may go through the probate process while property that was owned by a trust when a person passes away may avoid probate
As always, if you are unsure of what is best for you, seek the guidance of an Estate Attorney. For a referral to an Estate Attorney, write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org