Is a living trust and will the same?

From an estate planning perspective, many people believe that a living trust and will is pretty much the same thing. While these documents may provide some of the same benefits, they are totally unique in a number of ways. If you neglect to learn more about the pros and cons of each one, you could find yourself making an estate planning decision that doesn't suit you and your family.

All in all, both a living trust and will contain inheritance instructions, such as who receives what and when this happens.

A trust, however, is typically used by people who are interested in helping their loved ones avoid probate. Furthermore, it is also beneficial from a privacy perspective.

Since a living trust is not part of public record, other people cannot see who you left your assets to.

If you don't have a living trust or will, you need to review your estate and decide which one is best for you at the present time. It can be a challenge to compare the pros and cons and to make a final decision, but it's something you need to do. If you continue to put this off, it will only make the choice more challenging in the future.

The best thing you can do is compare the finer details of a living trust and will. When you do this, it won't be long before you are clear as to which one is best for you, your family, and your estate. Making the right choice is sure to put your mind at ease.

Source: AARP, "10 Things You Should Know About Living Trusts," accessed July 01, 2016

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