What's the difference between a will and a revocable living trust?


Both a will and a trust direct what happens to your assets when you pass away.  The difference is that, with a will, your assets go through probate.  A trust that is property done and funded with your assets will avoid probate.


Jim: Well, I have already called your office so I will be setting up an appointment but I have a better understanding that you can do it. I know there is a difference between a trust and a will. Everybody is trying to tell me that because Florida is a probate state that I need the other will because I got a trust. Is that the case?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, Jim let me state that more accurately. Jim you need to take the steps necessary to avoid probate. Now we consider a living trust to be a complicated, expensive tool for avoiding probate. A living trust certainly can be appropriate in a certain circumstance but Chrissy we know some much easier, simpler tools for avoiding probate and they work for most people so Jim if you come see me we going to focus on those simple tools of avoiding probate. 

Jim: Okay, I will be waiting for that call because I want to set up the appointment and I talked to an attorney this morning.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay, Jim, call my office, schedule an appointment. Come see me and Chrissy. You and I sit down and we counsel people all the time about avoiding probate. It’s really the same thing that we go through with our workshop so an easy way to avoid probate.

Chrissy: And Tom you are correct we are often answering Jim’s question for people as to what is the difference and what is better between a trust and a will.

Attorney Tom Olsen: This is the thing we want to tell Jim and all listeners out there is that if you call lawyers in Florida and say “I want to avoid probate” they are going to try and sell you a living trust which is complicated and expensive. Why is it expensive? Because it’s complicated. Why is it complicated? They want it to be expensive. So Jim again we focus on simple tools to avoid probate. A living trust CAN be appropriate for some people you know what is appropriate for you but most people can use this simple tools to avoid probate. We look forward to meeting with you.