The difference between wills and trusts
Most people are familiar with the terms and know they have something to do with estate planning, yet few understand what they are, even when they have one or both. Both are legal documents used to transfer assets to others, but they are very different and serve different purposes. An oversimplification is that wills are written instructions to the probate court telling the court, after you die, who is getting your assets, who is taking care of your minor or incapacitated children, and who you want to be responsible for handling all of that, whereas trusts are a quasi entity that can take ownership of your assets during your lifetime and provide written instructions for after your death as to who is going to get those assets and who will manage them. A revocable living trust is typically created to help assets, held in the name of the trust, avoid the delay and cost associated with probate.