What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

When planning your estate, you are probably familiar with the words will and trust. But do you know the difference between the two and what you might need for your own estate? We will discuss the finer points below so that you can better determine how they might be best applied to your estate. (Better informed when you speak to your estate planning attorney)

What is a Will?

You can use both devices to ensure your assets are distributed the way you want. The way this happens is different, but both may have advantages. Each has a place in estate planning.

A will is a document that names a guardian for your children and pets. It provides a plan for the division of your property and assets. If you have specific wishes for your final arrangements, the will can provide guidance for how that should be handled.

Wills are typically simpler but can lend less control over distributing assets. A will is required to go through the probate process. This can be a lengthy and complicated process at times. An estate attorney from the Law Offices of William D. Black can help you organize your estate to benefit your loved ones most.

What is a Trust?

While offering outstanding benefits, trusts can be more complex. Trusts present an opportunity to have more control over the distribution of your assets. They come in a variety of forms and cover all of the assets placed inside the trust.

You must fund the trust by moving assets into it. The trust will then be the owner of the assets. Trusts are more complex to set up but could be worth the extra effort in many places.

The biggest benefit of creating a trust is minimizing the probate process or, at times, avoiding it altogether. By creating a trust, your loved ones do not have to spend time going through the complicated headache that probate often causes.

Notable Differences Between a Will and a Trust

The most significant difference between the two is when they take effect. Once a trust is signed, it is effective. But, a will requires its testator’s passing for it to go into effect. They serve similar purposes, though.

If privacy is essential, you might choose a trust since they are protected from the probate court. A will becomes a public document after the death of its owner. The contents of your estate and who you choose as heirs can be a matter that you would rather avoid being made available for public consumption.

Arizona Estate Planning Attorney

A well-planned estate is a gift to your loved ones. Specific guidance can help your family and those you care about to avoid the stress of trying to guess what you would have wanted. Outlining everything beforehand helps them bypass some of the negative impacts they could face if your instructions are clarified. Contact the Law Offices of William D. Black for an Arizona attorney specializing in estate planning. We are here to make the process as straightforward as possible.