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


Video Summary


I’m often asked questions about estate-planning documents and one of those is, “What’s the difference between a will and a trust?” Well, both of them refer to a written document. A will is also called your Last Will and Testament, which takes effect at the time you pass away and controls whatever assets that you have in your name alone. If you have assets titled in your name, they will be controlled by your will and have to be probated.


If you have a trust, that is the name of another document which sets forth the name of a trustee; who the beneficiaries are; and what you would like done with your assets during your lifetime as well as at your death. Most of the time, when people refer to a trust, they are referring to what they call a revocable living trust, wherein they name themselves as the trustee and designate their assets to be used for their use during their lifetime; and then, also provide who they would like to receive their assets upon their death.


In order for a trust to be effective, the assets must be retitled in the name of the trustee; and the trust is effective as soon as it is signed during the lifetime of the person who signs it, which is called a donor or grantor. If you’d like to have a trust set up, please call my office at (727) 847-2288. Thank you.