Simply stated, a will is nothing more than a set of instructions to the probate court on how you would like your assets distributed when you pass.  You still have all the formalities required by the probate process.  You still have the time it takes to resolve it – oftentimes, this could be years, and you still have the cost, which could be tens of thousands of dollars. 

A trust, on the other hand, will usually avoid most of the negative aspects of the probate process associated with a will.  A trust will normally have no probate fees, can take just a few months to resolve, and it is an informal process.  No judicial oversight is needed with the administration of a trust.  And, while an estate planning attorney is always recommended for the formation of an estate plan, an attorney is usually not needed in the administration of a trust. 

As an aside, most estate plans have both a trust and a will.  The trust is the primary instrument to avoid probate.  The will is called a ‘pour-over’ will.  It is used only to capture items that were inadvertently left out of the trust and puts them into the trust when the person passes.  You don’t want to use the pour-over will to put items in the trust because it must go through probate to get there.  You defeat the entire purpose of having a trust.

There are several other benefits to a trust.  Call now to schedule your complimentary consultation to see how you and your family will benefit with a comprehensive estate plan.