What is the difference between a Will and a Living Trust?

Lisa: Yes, what is the difference between a will and a living trust?  I am getting ready to have one of those drawn up for my children and I'm just not sure which avenue to go.

Attorney Tom Olsen: And how old are you Lisa?

Lisa: I'm going to be 50 this year.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay Lisa, whether you have a will or whether you have a living trust, all of your goals and intentions can be accomplished. The distinction is having a will has nothing to do with avoiding probate.  With an ordinary will your assets will still go through probate. A living trust is all about avoiding probate. Or you might say, “Tom or that makes sense, I want to avoid probate, I want a living trust”, well, that is not necessarily the case because Chrissy and I are always preaching that there are some simple tools about out there available to you to avoid probate. A living trust I consider to be a complex and expensive tool for avoiding probate. So Lisa, I cannot necessarily say that a living trust is the right tool for you, there may be some simpler less expensive tools for you. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: So Lisa, how old are your children by the way?

Lisa: They're all grown.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If you call a lot of lawyers and you speak these words, “I want to avoid probate”, they are automatically going to put you into a living trust. Why? Because it's three inches thick and they can charge a whole lot of money for it. Okay?

Lisa: Okay.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If you didn't know that sometimes lawyers are paid by the word. I'm telling you there are some simple tools to avoid probate and we would love to tell you about and we do regular workshops on easy ways to avoid probate. Our next workshop this week is going to be in the villages, we are going back to the villages but Lisa if you called us over the phone or --Chrissy how about this, we have a booklet on easy ways to avoid probate, we should we should mail that to Lisa.

Chrissy: You can call or you can text me your name and address at 407-808-8398 and I will send you the booklet and that will get you started with some very good information about the difference of the will and the living trust so that you can start to get a good idea to answer your question. And then also included in there will be information about our upcoming workshops and if it works with your schedule, we would certainly love to have you come to that because that's where Tom does a great job of giving a good overview of exactly your question. The difference between the wills and the trusts and like Tom said there are simple tools but most importantly what we always want to do with every person is provide what's going to be the right tool for their situation.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Right, so Lisa we’re not necessarily ruling out a living trust for you but we're also saying it is very likely, it's not needed by you there are some easier to avoid probate. Now folks, would you like to get our book at on easy ways to avoid probate? Well, here's a phone number 407-808-8398. I’m going to give that phone number give again but let’s just say this, you want that booklet, Easy Ways To Avoid Probate, please text your name and address to Chrissy. Or when you call Chrissy with that phone number, leave your name and address, that way she won't need to call you back, she can just get that booklet it straight in the mail to you. Again, Easy Ways To Avoid Probate booklet, call or text Chrissy anytime 407-808-8398.