What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Will Vs a Revocable Living Trust?


Quick Answer

Some of the main advantages of using a revocable living trust instead of a will for estate planning is that a revocable living trust does not have to go through probate, which can alleviate privacy concerns, and it is protected from being challenged in court, according to NOLO. Revocable living trusts can also be changed at any point during the person's life.

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Wills do have some advantages, however, including being easier to create and manage, according to NOLO. Wills can also cover non-asset issues, such as who will be the guardian for any minor surviving children and who will be appointed as executor of the estate.

Revocable living trusts are most often used by those who have high-value assets or those who want to avoid anybody being able to look up what was left behind after the death. Wills are required to go through probate, which makes them open to the public. This means that the information can be published in the media, which is common when celebrities or other public figures have wills.

A revocable living trust also allows the person to carefully control how the assets will be distributed. It functions like any other trust, in which the person setting it up can make stipulations, such as a certain amount of money will be dispersed to the beneficiary every year or at certain milestones instead of in one lump sum. A will does not offer as much flexibility.

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