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What is the difference between a trust and a will? A will is a declaration to transfer property upon the death of an individual. A trust is an arrangement in which property is governed and managed by one or more persons for the benefit of another. I apologize for the incredible formal definition but in essence a will is a document that tell us where you want to your property to go when you die, and a trust is an organization which can control and distribute property.

People often wonder if they should get a trust. The simple answer is yes but like anything that is more complex it cost more and requires more sophistication. There are a few major benefits for creating a trust as the primary vehicle to transfer your property upon death.

The first benefit of a trust over a will is that you can control property for the benefit of your loved ones. Children under the age of 20 are extremely vulnerable to predators upon the death of both parents. A will only has the power to give property. So, in other words, a person who passes with just a will gives their children their property upon their death. For example, Sarah, a 12 year old girl, who loses her parents will receive all their property upon their death. Since Sarah does not have rights like an adult, a court will appoint a guardian over her estate. This guardian will have full access to the child's finances. They will be able to spend the money according to their determination of what is in the best interest of a child.

A trust can control how, when, and why a child receives property and designate a trustee over a child's finances. If Sarah's parents create a trust, they can pick a trustee of Sarah's finances and designated how, when, and why Sarah's finances will be used. This is a great protection for Sarah. In addition, a trust can avoid probate. So if Sarah's parents pass, then the trustee can take immediate control of trust property for the benefit of Sarah. This avoids an expensive probate of Sarah's parent's estate.

To determine if you should get a trust or a will, please contact us at 214-250-4407 or email Mr. Willingham at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .