Difference Between Will and Trust


Main Difference

The main difference between Will and Trust is that Will is a legal document that entitles your property to someone you wish at your death, whereas a Trust can distribute your possessions before, after, or at your death.

Will vs. Trust

A will is defined as a piece of paper that entrusts your property to your wished person after your death with the help of a legal representative. Conversely, trust is defined as giving one’s rights of a part or all property to the trustee, which takes control of legal ownership of a property if the real owner is absent, disabled, or dead.


A will starts its action only after the death of the owner, whereas the trust takes effects right at the moment. A will is not valid until you are deceased, but a trust can make sure to provide full care for your property and your minor children in case you are disabled.

The will does not allow your beneficiaries to manage their assets when they are incapacitated, while trust can manage their assets efficiently. A will entrusts all your property to your children in a lump sum, whereas the trust controls the distribution of your estate.

A will is considered a public document that you have to fill in the court, and everyone knows what you have publicly. On the other hand, a trust is a private document for which you don’t have to visit the court necessarily, and no one knows about your possessions.


It is compulsory for a will to go through probation for the entitlement of your assets or possessions to your beneficiaries. Contrarily, a trust is not probated for the transfer of your belongings to your beneficiaries.

Comparison Chart

A will is a legal document that transfers all your belongings at once to your desired person or persons after your death.A trust is a relationship in which you authorize another party for your property’s distribution for the benefit of your beneficiaries.
After the owner’s deathBefore, after, or at the death
Disabled Case
Does not effect until your death even if you are disabledTakes care of all your assets if you are disabled
Public documentPrivate document
Court Visit
Necessary to visit the courtNot necessary to visit the court
Public Accessibility
The public knows all your belongingsNo one knows what you have except your trustee
Probation is a must for your assets’ transferProbation is not compulsory for your assets’ transfer
Less expensiveMost expensive in the short term and moderate expensive in the long term
Estate Taxes
Cannot reduce estate taxesCan reduce estate taxes
Administration of Assets
Cannot administer assets without the court’s orderCan administer assets without court’s order

What is Will?

A legally dominated document that manages your matters handled and assets distributed according to your desire after your death is called a will. A will is a public document for which one must visit the court and make one’s assets public, making everyone know about what one has. A will cannot administer assets to the minor beneficiaries without the court’s involvement.

If a person has filled his will in the court and appointed a guardian for his adolescent children, the guardian will be held responsible as the owner of that person’s assets. In case if a person has not appointed guardian for his minor children, his family will suffer in probate court, and a guardian will be appointed whom one does not want to entrust one’s children.

A will is processed through probation, which means that all your possessions and properties are scanned before transferring the titles of your assets to your beneficiaries. Making a will is not a costly process as compared to trust, which requires long estate planning.

A will does not protect an inheritance from the beneficiaries’ creditors and thus does not give you guarantee that all the assets for which you worked damn hard will be given to your children. If a person has a child, grandchild, or any beneficiary who is disabled, he is recommended to trust his property because a will does not secure the disabled person’s assets as they will be either lost or transferred to any other beneficiary.

What is Trust?

A trust is defined as managing your belongings during your lifetime and distributing them efficiently into your beneficiaries after your death. A person can manage the trust himself or can assign any other person, group, or company known as the trustee, for managing his assets.

A trust is a highly private manuscript that does not allow the public to intervene, or know about your possessions. After trusting the assets, the person’s belongings are not probated, and no permission is required to hand over your assets’ entitlement.

The inheritance left to beneficiaries is safeguarded from creditors by a trust. The trust makes sure to handover your original assets to your adult children or future generations. The trust protects the disabled beneficiary’s rights and reduces estate taxes.

A trust is not required to achieve a court’s intervention for the administration of assets to minor beneficiaries. Trust is the ideal way to ensure all the government benefits and payments for non-governmental reimbursements.

Types of Trust

  • Testamentary Trust: A legal body that resides along with your will and effects when you are deceased is called Testamentary trust.
  • Living Trust: A legal entity established and accomplished during your lifetime is called Living trust.

Advantages of Trust

  • No probation is required.
  • It reduces future estate taxes.
  • It ensures the security of the inheritance of disabled beneficiaries.
  • It maintains the privacy of your possessions.
  • It administers your assets without the interference of the court.
  • It is a cost-effective asset scheduling.

Key Differences

  1. A will functions only after the death of the settler, whereas a trust functions either before or after the death of the settler, or right at the moment.
  2. A will is a public thing that allows the court to know all your belongings and run probation. On the other hand, trust is a private thing and does not allow anyone to know what you have and run probation.
  3. The court’s will is required to transfer the titles of assets in a will, whereas no court’s orders are required to entitle the assets in a trust.
  4. A will may leave property to young children, whereas a trust does not transfer the property until the child has turned 18.
  5. A will is a less costly thing requiring a legal representative in the court for the assets distribution process after the death of the settler, while a trust is cost-effective for long term scheduling of legal events.
  6. A will is suitable for reasonably simple estates. Conversely, trust is the best for large complex estates.


A will is a public legal document that makes the beneficiaries get their part in a property after the death of the owner, whereas a trust is a private file that manages the assets any time and acts for the benefit of beneficiaries.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson