Wills and Trusts FAQs
What is Better, a Will, or a Trust?
A trust will streamline the process of transferring an estate after you die while avoiding a lengthy and potentially costly period of probate. However, if you have minor children, creating a will that names a guardian is critical to protecting both the minors and any inheritance. Deciding between a will or a trust is a personal choice, and some experts recommend having both. A will is typically less expensive and easier to set up than a trust, an expensive and often complex legal document.
Do You Need Both a Trust and a Will?
Nearly everyone should have a will, but not everyone most likely needs a living or irrevocable trust. If you have property and assets to place in a trust and have minor children, having both estate-planning vehicles might make sense.
Does a Will Override a Living Trust?
A will and a living trust are two separate legal documents. One doesn't usually trump another, but if the issue arises, a living trust will most likely override a will because a trust is its own entity.5
How Much Does it Cost to Set Up a Trust?
The cost to set up a trust depends on various factors, including the type of trust, the state you live in, and how complex the legal document. A simple trust done online with LegalZoom costs less than $300. Whether such a trust will accomplish your estate planning goals for the specific state in which you live is another question to ask.
The Bottom Line
It is important to settle your affairs earlier rather than later in life. A will or a trust, or both, can ensure your assets and possessions end up where you want them to go. If you have minor children, you should absolutely make a will to name guardianship. A trust will streamline your estate's transfer, unlike a will, which goes through probate. Making an estate plan a priority now can save money and precious time later, and help your loved ones avoid potential financial hardship.