Estate planning – wills vs trusts
You obviously won’t be able to manage your estate after you die, but you can have the final say on how it is managed once your time has passed.
By entering a living will or trust, you can decide who gets control of your estate (and how much of it) once you have died. If you don’t go through either of these arrangements, the state will decide upon the distribution of your property.
Wills and trusts might largely fulfil the same purpose, but don’t be misled into thinking that they are the same thing. The fundamental difference is that a will outlines how gets control of your estate after you die, while a trust specified how it will be managed during as well as after your lifetime. A trust takes effect as soon as it is signed; a will only becomes active after you’ve died.
There are also key differences between the two regarding probate and the management of property.
A will can only govern property owned in your name, whereas a trust can govern any property with which it is funded.
In a will, probate is required for the transfer of property to living beneficiaries; with trusts, the terms of the agreement are deemed sufficient for the property to be transferred.
This infographic from I Will Solicitors explains in simple terms the differences between wills and trusts while also recommending which option is better in certain scenarios.