What is the difference between a Will and a Living Trust?

Wills and living trusts are both legal documents that can be created as part of an estate plan.

Everyone should have a Will, or Last Will and Testament

You want to make sure any assets or possession you leave behind, get passed on to the right people and/or organizations in the right way.

In your Will, you’ll name an executor to make sure your wishes are carried out after you pass.  Also, in your Will, you can designate guardians for minor children.  

When you have a living trust, you can be in full charge of your trust.  If you die or become incapacitated, your successor trustee can step in to handle your affairs as indicated in your trust.

And - you may be surprised to hear this - but once you die, your Will is not private. It is a public document that goes through the probate process and anyone can read it.

On the other hand, a living trust, also referred to as a revocable living trust, keeps the details of your estate private. And it does not require probate – the process by which a court makes sure your executor does his or her job correctly.

Like a Will, a living trust can be revoked or amended at any time provided you have the capacity to do so.

Also, keep in mind, a living trust is effective immediately, while a Will is made to lay out your wishes after you die.

And, while having a Will is essential to every estate plan, a living trust, depending on your circumstances, may or may not be appropriate to your estate plan.  

To discuss the right estate plan for you, please contact us

Related Posts: 

What the Heck is a Living Trust?
Should You Add a Trust to Your Estate Plan?
Estate Planning and Disgruntled Heirs: Ways to Avoid the Fight
Looking Out for Your Grandkids - 4 Estate Planning Steps for New Parents

FREE REPORT: Should You Add a Trust to Your Estate Plan?

Client Reviews
★★★★★
“I cannot find the words to thank all of you properly for your hard work and perseverance. It is a great relief to have gotten a just and proper ruling from the court. All of you have shown great professionalism and concern for the issues I brought before you.” J.G., Greensboro, GA
★★★★★
“All dealings have been excellent. Very professional organization. Great explanations of our options related to preparing a will. Clear, concise, great guidance and not trying to "sell us" on something we do not need. Administrative folks were super. All of our related paperwork was clearly tagged with what we needed to provide/sign/read /etc. Made things easy. Nice work.” L.G., Berlin, CT
★★★★★
“We loved working with your firm and really trust the advice. You have a well-deserved reputation and it was nice to check off a number of things that had been on our To-Do list. Although it's hard to make the time to take care of some of these matters, it is a great relief when you do so. I would definitely recommend your firm to anyone in need of the services that you provide.” L.M., Simsbury, CT
★★★★★
Everyone at the firm were consummate professionals. We felt completely comfortable with their guidance and were impressed by their compassion and commitment to us. R.H., Canton, CT
★★★★★
The attorney who served us was kind, thorough, and very responsive. He pointed out some issues in my mother's documents that could have been problematic down the road. After my mother passed, everything was as seamless as possible - a true gift at a time when life and death decisions were being made and emotions were overwhelming. J.B., Cromwell, CT
★★★★★
Great service, was on top of everything. I'm glad they were there to help us though a tough time. J.M., Farmington, CT
Members of: