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Estate Planning: What’s the Difference Between a Will and Trust?

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Estate Planning: What’s the Difference Between a Will and Trust?

Wills and Trusts
The terms will and trust seem to often be used interchangeably, however, most people are unsure what the difference is, and how they are used with estate planning. Likewise, although estate planning is something that should be done, the grim thought of looking into the future when you’re gone is not something most people want to do.  On the other hand, when wills and trusts are skillfully executed by a professional Illinois estate planning attorney, you can rest assured that your family members will be well taken care even after you’re gone. 
What is the Difference?

  • Covers property only in the deceased person’s name (does not cover joint)
  • Only go into effect when someone is deceased
  • Directs who will have received deceased property and assets (appoints legal representation)
  • Goes through court to make sure everything is distributed as the deceased wished
  • Is part of public record
  • Allows guardians for minor children to be made


  • Covers property property that has been transferred into a trust
  • Is immediately effective after it’s been created
  • Is a legal arrangement where one person or institution (trustee) holds legal title to property for a beneficiary (other person)
  • Does not go through the court process, and no one oversees the process
  • Remains private
  • No ability to name guardians for minor children
  • Helps plan for disability and tax savings

Overall, both wills and trusts can be quite confusing, especially in the time of bereavement or disability, but is something that can ensure your wishes are carried out accordingly.
If you or a loved one is in need of help with a will or trust, the Edwardsville estate planning attorney, Deborah Besserman can help.  At Besserman Law Firm, empathy, understanding, and attention to detail is paramount to each case.  Please contact Besserman Law Office, LLC today to schedule a consultation.  

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