Hello and Welcome! Thank you for allowing me to be of service to you. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) I will provide you with honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you might be hoping to hear.
I can provide you some general differences between the two and over general reasons why one is chosen over another. However, I suggest you sit down with a local attorney to review your entire financial situation to help in determining which way to go.
An advantage of doing a revocable living trust
is avoiding probate
. A trust is administered by the terms of the trust document and assets are distributed in accordance with those terms without the requirement of probate
court approval. A trust can distribute assets privately without becoming a matter of public record. Trusts also avoid the cost of probate but there could be administrative costs as well.
Disadvantages include having to transfer all your assets in trust and the expense of setting up the trust. Your assets would need to be titled in the name of the trust. You may be the trustee to control the assets and the management but the trust in now the owner of your assets.
A Will is more simple to set up but must be probated in order to get the assets transferred to the beneficiaries. While a Will generally is less expensive to create, your estate
would be subject to probate fees and having to go through probate to transfer assets takes more time than a trust distribution.
At minimum everyone should have a Will. You do not want your State to determine where your assets go or if you have children who will become guardian.
Here are a few resources I and clients have found very helpful in educating themselves on the living trust and wills: www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/LivingTrust.aspx
This article is very helpful in that it has a chart with the advantages and disadvantages of each: www.alllaw.com/articles/wills_and_trusts/articlelz2.asp
All my best & encouragement.
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All states have intricacies in their laws and any information given is simply information only and specifically is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you.