What’s the difference between a trust and a will? Although both of them are used during legal estate planning, they both differ in many ways — and if you’re unfamiliar with them, it might be confusing to determine which is best for your circumstances. Having a will or trust can benefit your family in more ways than one, so understanding their unique qualities is vital. To learn more about what’s the difference between a will and a trust, here are the details you need to know.

What Is a Will?

First, let’s take a look at wills. They’re documents that allow you to choose where your money and property are sent following your death and can also include details regarding who will be the guardian of your minor children, funeral directions, and other such details. It’s required by state law for wills to be signed and witnessed, and the implementation of a will demands an entire legal process. In addition, if you pass away without having a will, the laws of your state will dictate how your management will be distributed. As a result, individuals who want better control over what happens to their wealth, assets, and children after their death ought to pursue a will.

What Is a Trust?

Trusts are legal documents that arrange for the transferral of your assets to a trustee, who is the person you chose to manage your property. This trustee must handle your assets in the way you outlined in the terms of your trust. There are numerous types of trusts available for you to consider, including:

Charitable Trusts
Irrevocable Trusts
Revocable Trusts
And More

What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

So, what’s the difference between a will and trust? The primary difference is that while wills only take effect after you pass on, a trust is effective immediately after it’s signed. This allows individuals to transfer their property and make other decisions while they’re still living, which opens up numerous opportunities that aren’t possible with wills.

Another noteworthy difference when comparing a trust vs. a will is what instructions you can outline in the document. For example, wills allow you to determine who will watch over your children, whereas trusts do not let you name guardians. Additionally, because trusts take effect before your death, it’s possible for you to outline instructions for when you are no longer able to make your own decisions for mental or physical reasons.

Wondering what’s the difference between a will and trust in regard to privacy? Trusts are private and are only shown to those involved with the document because there aren’t any requirements to file them. On the other hand, wills eventually enter the public record once they’re given to the court for the probate process.

A Trust Vs. a Will — Which Is Better?

Ultimately, there’s no clear winner. Wills and trusts each have their own pros and cons that can influence how beneficial they’ll be to your family. However, if you’re planning to outline how you want your funeral to proceed, you can always trust McCafferty Funeral Home. We offer funeral services in Philadelphia, cremation in Philadelphia county, and other forms of assistance. For more information, give us a call today.