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What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

A will does not transfer any of your property until you die. A living trust can. A living trust involves placing your property with a “trustee” while you are alive so it can be transferred to beneficiaries (such as children or grandchildren), and it can potentially lessen legal and tax burdens. Your trustee will manage the assets specified in your trust if you suffer an unexpected serious illness or other incapacitation. You can name yourself as the trustee.

There are several different types of trust, each with a different purpose or goal. Some trusts allow you certain benefits while you are living. An advantage shared by having a will and having a living trust is avoiding the potential complications of intestacy – state-determined distribution of your assets. However, with a living trust, you can avoid probate.

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