Is a trust better than having a will?
Trusts are generally not used as often as wills in the state of Texas, although this is changing. There are a number of differences between the two, with the most prominent difference being the fact that a will requires court-supervised probate following death, while a living trust does not—assets held in a living trust pass to designated beneficiaries with no court involvement. A will does have certain benefits, including:
- A trust is more expensive to have prepared;
- A will does not require assets to be transferred into it;
- If the executor of a Texas will qualify as an independent Executor, then probate proceedings are much quicker and less expensive than in other states, and
- A will is a vehicle used to designate a guardian for minor children.
A trust also has certain benefits, including:
- When property is owned in more than one state, a living trust avoids the necessity for multiple probate proceedings;
- A living trust provides advantages if you should become incapacitated;
- A living trust is private, whereas a probated will is public;
- A living trust is much harder to contest;
- A living trust will transfer assets directly to beneficiaries without the time involved in probate, and
- Once assets are transferred into a trust, they are still controlled by you, then eventually distributed to your chosen heirs.