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What’s the difference between a will and a revocable trust?


Both allow people to pass on assets to their heirs, but there are two crucial differences that may make the trust a better estate-planning option. Assets are placed in a trust when it is set up, generally with provisions that allow the grantor (the person who contributes the assets) to keep earning income from them. With the assets already in place in the trust, they can be distributed to heirs when the time comes with less bureaucratic hassle. Perhaps more important, a trust allows the grantor to specify how and when assets will be disbursed after death, so the grantor can maintain some control, even from beyond the grave. That could lessen the chance that something unfortunate happens to wealth left to a minor child or to a ne’er-do-well relative.
-Conrad de Aenlle