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What is the difference between a Will and a Trust?

A Will and a Trust are both estate planning tools, with some similarities and differences. There are advantages and disadvantages to both Wills and Trusts, and since estate planning is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation, it is important to contact an estate planning attorney to determine which option is best suited for your situation.

Here are some differences:

  • A Will is considered a ‘death instrument’, that is, a Will becomes effective when someone dies. On the other hand, a Trust can be both a ‘living instrument’ and a ‘death instrument.’
  • A Will directs who will receive your property upon your death during a court process called a Probate; whereas a Trust distributes your property at death without a court process.
  • A Will covers the property solely owned by the person creating the Will; whereas a Trust covers only property placed in the Trust.
  • Wills are public record, whereas generally a Trust remains private.

Why Choose MH:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick MH?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!


This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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