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Wills Vs. Trusts

Wills, Trusts, and Probate


Estate and Family Costs

  • With a Will

    • For a Will to have legal effect, the entire estate involved must be probated.​

  • With a Trust​

    • When drafted and funded properly, a Trust allows an estate to avoid Probate.​


Financial Expenses

  • With a Will

    • Taxes and Probate attorney's fees, as well as probate fees, which often include the state inventory fee, accounting, appraisal, auction, personal representative and adverting fees. ​

  • With a Trust

    • Because a Trust allows an estate to be transferred without the probate process, the family suffers no financial loss from probate expenses. Trust and estate planning documents cost a mere fraction of the probate fee assessed to some families with Wills.​



  • With a Will

    • State law requires estates in probate to remain open for a period of time. During that time, anyone wishing to file claims on the estate may do so.​

  • With a Trust

    • Without court involvement, families control the schedule of distribution of the estate. Therefore, a Trust can be settles at the family's earliest convenience. ​



  • With a Will

    • To have any legal authority, a Will must be proved valid in Probate Court. When a family​ probates a Will, the document itself, the worth, and the content of the estate all become public record. The result is anyone may review or purchase copies of an estate's probate file and decide whether to file a claim.

  • With a Trust

    • Trusts are private family documents. Even when proof of a Trust's existence is recorded, information on the contents and worth of the estate, how it is divided and to whom it is distributed, all remains confidential. ​



  • With a Will

    • When a Will is submitted to probate, the judge determines who distributes the estate, who receives the assets, and how those assets are divided if the will is contested. ​

  • With a Trust

    • The "settlors" or creators of a Revocable Living Trust determine the party controlling their estate, who is know as their "trustee." As settlors, they determine the beneficiaries, or who shall receive their estate. ​

“Revocable Living Trusts should be considered by all persons who want their loved ones to receive their estate without going through Probate.”

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