We frequently get questions asking us about the difference between a will and a trust. While there are several important differences, here are just 2:
Differences in Form and Purpose.
Your will (“Last Will and Testament”) is a legal document that states your final wishes and gives instructions about how to divide up your property when you die. It directs the manner in which you want your property distributed and to whom.
A trust, on the other hand, is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets (money or property) on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries (the person or persons for whose benefit the trust is made). Each state has its own laws governing the types of trusts permitted, how they are created and the laws that govern them. Which is why it is important that you consult with knowledgeable counsel.
Differences In When Each Comes Into Effect.
Unlike a trust, your Will only comes into being (i.e., is effective) after you die. This is why it is so important to make sure that your will is properly drafted; because once you are gone, it is impossible to change your will and next to impossible to fix any mistakes.
A trust, on the other hand, is effective as soon as you create it (and fund it with property or money).
While there are many differences between a will and a trust and what each can do, they are alike in that they are necessary and critical estate planning tools that everyone can use.
Want to Learn More?
We can help. We are experienced trusts and estates attorneys in Arizona. We offer free consultations, and we serve all of Arizona. Our offices are located in beautiful Sedona and we serve Verde Valley as well. We can help you provide and plan for your loved ones. Call us at 928-282-1483 or contact us here.