Choosing Trusts Over Wills: Crafting Your Legacy

will vs living trusts with red color pencil coloring living trust

When it comes to estate planning, making informed decisions is crucial for ensuring your legacy is handled the way you envision. Two common tools for estate planning are wills and trusts. While both serve the purpose of distributing your assets after your passing, they offer distinct features and advantages. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences between wills and trusts, and explain why choosing trusts over wills might be the better choice for your estate planning needs.

Wills: Outlining Your Final Wishes

A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that outlines your final wishes for the distribution of your assets and the management of your estate after your death. Wills are often used to name guardians for minor children and to specify who should inherit specific assets. They are a straightforward way to communicate your intentions, but they come with certain drawbacks.

One significant downside of wills is that they typically go through a legal process called probate. During probate, a court oversees the distribution of assets, ensures that debts and taxes are paid, and validates the will’s authenticity. This process can be time-consuming and costly, potentially delaying the transfer of assets to your beneficiaries.

Trusts: A Comprehensive Approach to Estate Planning

Trusts, on the other hand, provide a more comprehensive approach to estate planning. A trust is a legal entity that holds and manages assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. There are different types of trusts, each with its own set of benefits, but they share some common advantages over wills.

One of the key benefits of trusts is that they can help you avoid probate. Assets held in a trust are typically transferred to beneficiaries without the need for probate court involvement, which can save time, money, and maintain the privacy of your financial affairs. Additionally, trusts offer greater flexibility in managing your assets during your lifetime, as well as providing for the seamless management of your estate in the event of your incapacity.

Choosing Trusts over Wills

While both wills and trusts have their merits, many individuals find that trusts offer distinct advantages that make them a better choice for their estate planning needs. Here are a few reasons why choosing trusts over wills might be the better option:

    1. Privacy: Wills become public documents during probate, whereas trusts remain private and confidential.
    2. Avoiding Probate: Trusts enable assets to be transferred to beneficiaries without the need for probate court, reducing delays and costs.
    3. Continuity: Trusts can provide for the management of your assets in the event of incapacity, ensuring your wishes are carried out even if you’re unable to manage your affairs.
    4. Control: Trusts allow for greater control over how and when your assets are distributed, enabling you to provide for specific circumstances.


When it comes to planning your legacy, choosing between a will and a trust is an important decision. While a will serves as a basic document to convey your intentions, a trust offers a more comprehensive and flexible approach to estate planning. Ultimately, the decision between a will and a trust depends on your individual circumstances, financial situation, and goals. To ensure that you make the right choice for your needs, it’s crucial to consult with legal professionals who specialize in estate planning. With their guidance, you can create a tailored plan that reflects your wishes and secures your legacy for generations to come.  Ultimately, choosing trusts over wills is an individual decision, but expert legal advice can go a long way into deciding whether such an option is the best choice for you as you craft a seamless and long-lasting legacy.

Want to Learn More?

  1. Living Trust vs Will” – A comprehensive guide by Nolo, providing an in-depth comparison between wills and living trusts.

  2. Will vs. Trust: What’s the Difference?” – An informative article by Investopedia that explains the distinctions between wills and trusts.

  3. The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning” – A guide by AARP that covers the basics of estate planning, including wills, trusts, and other important aspects.

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