Benefits of Using a Trust over a Will

In Estate Planning by Taylor Stevens

Many people choose to utilize a trust or a will as their main estate planning tool. Both of these files serve important roles in a person’s estate plan. There are some distinct advantages of utilizing a trust over a will.


One unique benefit of using a trust over a will is the personal privacy that it uses. Wills must be probated. This includes the court having jurisdiction over the case. When a will is probated, it becomes a matter of public record. Some courts allow any such files to be accessed by anybody with access to the court system. A trust provides personal privacy due to the fact that it is not a matter of public record. It is administered independently by the called trustee.


Using a trust supplies greater control over the possessions and earnings. In a will, a present is offered to the named beneficiary. Nevertheless, a trust permits the grantor to establish a series of directions for the trustee to follow about how the property needs to be utilized. In this method, the grantor can make guaranteed directions about how to handle the trust property.


Some people do not wish to give a straight-out gift to another individual prior to or after their death. In a will, there are no conditions to these gifts. In a trust, the grantor can establish conditions about when a person can get gifts from the trust. For instance, the trust might require the trustee to refrain from providing trust funds to a beneficiary until she or he graduates college, tests negative on a drug test or reaches a certain age.

Probate Avoidance

Using a trust may assist an individual avoid the probate process. Probate is interested in the assets that an individual owns at the time of his or her death. If the individual owns no property, his/her estate does not go through this process. A trust transfers legal ownership from the grantor to the trust itself. Not going through probate typically assists an individual’s estate be dealt with much more effectively without the included costs and lengthy nature of the probate procedure.


Another benefit of using the probate process rather of a will is that the grantor can still keep the assets during his or her lifetime. If he or she ends up being handicapped, the trust may have language that enables the trust funds to be used for his/her own care. The property in a trust can be available for the grantor’s usage in case of special needs or other unforeseen circumstances. Having a trust likewise makes it possible to continuously handle property, income and trust funds during the grantor’s impairment, which would not be managed with just a will in place because a will does not make plans when it comes to disability.

Avoidance of Conservatorship Procedures

Since a trust can attend to the management of assets during a person’s special needs or incapacitation, prospective conservatorship procedures may be prevented. This type of court proceeding is frequently intrusive and may require continuous court involvement. Guardianship or conservatorship procedures can be complicated and costly, typically requiring a bond, annual accounting and extra legal fees.


A revocable trust is typically more versatile than a will. It might be more useful in cases including beneficiaries and properties that are in other states. With a will, there may be a need to develop a probate case in each state where property is situated. Trusts can likewise be readily changed.

Quicker Disposition

When possessions have actually already been moved to the trust, it might be quicker for the trustee to dispose of these possessions according to the instructions in the trust file than it would take for the administrator of a will to dispose of the assets. When going through the probate process, the administrator needs to offer notification to known successors and financial institutions and settle financial obligations prior to any circulation to recipient can happen. In contrast, properties in a revocable trust might be liquidated or distributed more quickly.

Legal Help

Individuals who are thinking about drafting a trust or a will may wish to talk to an estate planning lawyer. She or he can describe the advantages of utilizing a trust along with a will. He or she can make recommendations based upon the particular considerations of the customer. He or she might even recommend using both files, such as by utilizing a pour-over will that puts any property owned at the time of the testator’s death into the trust.