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Revocable Living Trust vs. Last Will and Testament


As you begin considering your estate planning process, you may be wondering the differences between a revocable living trust (“trust”) and a last will and testament (“will”). Estate planning is not just for the elite and wealthy, but when used correctly can offer you tax savings and ensure that your wishes are upheld after your death.

Differences between a Last Will and Testament and a Revocable Living Trust

While many people are familiar with creating a will for their beneficiaries after their death, not as many people are aware of the option to create a trust that is revocable during their lifetime. While a will offers legal several legal protections, a revocable living trust can provide benefits that are simply not available within a will. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • A will must go through the probate process, which can be costly and time-consuming. A trust never needs to go through probate.
  • A will is open to the public, and a trust will always be private. Your privacy is better protected within a trust, and the opportunities for disputes and contesting matters of your estate will be minimized if your affairs are private.
  • A will distributes your estate only after your death. A trust can provide flexibility by distributing portions of your estate both before and after your death.
  • If you ever become incapacitated, or unable to handle your own affairs, a trust will allow your trustee to make decisions on your behalf regarding your estate before your death.
  • Wills are permanent, and remain so until your death. A trust is flexible, and you have the ability to make any amendments or adjustments according to any life changes you may have.
  • The assets in a trust have FDIC protection up to $250,000 for every beneficiary with a capped total protection up to $1,250,000, unlike a will.
  • Will are easily contested, trusts are not.
  • A trust will allow you to determine exactly how much of your estate will be distributed to your minor children, and exactly the timeframe of the distributions.
  • Trust assets will never be considered part of a minor child’s estate for tax purposes.

Contact an Experienced Estates and Trusts Attorney

A trust can be a legally powerful option for you as you consider your estate planning needs. While a will is a typically standard vehicle to distribute assets after your death, it involves the probate process, additional financial costs, a time-consuming court process, and is difficult to amend if your needs or desires change.

A trust, on the other hand, can be modified at any time, avoids the probate process, and is completely private. A trust can provide for your minor children before your death, as well as after your death, according to your specific wishes. Visiting with an experienced Fort Lauderdale probate & guardianship attorney can help you create the best plan for you, and help you with the probate process if needed. Call the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. today at 954-467-6656 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation.





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