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Differences Between a Will and a Trust

You may have heard the terms “wills & trusts” but not know the difference between the two. While both wills and trusts are useful estate-planning tools, there are several key difference to keep in mind. One difference between a will and a trust is the fact that a will can only go into effect upon your death, while a trust can either be used to manage property during your life or after your death. Another important difference is that a person can only have one valid will at a time while a trust can be used to either replace or supplement a will.

Benefits And Downsides

The key benefits and downsides associated with wills and trusts in South Carolina really depend on what your estate-planning goals are. For example, if you are looking for a way to distribute your assets while you are still alive then you will want to execute as trust opposed to a will. While keeping your goals in mind, consider some of the commonly noted benefits and downsides associated with wills and trusts that are listed below:

  • Avoid Probate: One main benefit associated with trusts is that they can be used to avoid probate, which can save your beneficiaries time and money. Conversely, one downside of wills is that they pass through probate.
  • Privacy: If you would like for your affairs to remain private it is key to note that a will becomes a public document when you die while trust instruments do not.
  • Name a Guardian: If you have minor children you can use a will to name a guardian for your kids, however, a trust can not be used to appoint a guardian.


If you have any questions regarding wills & trusts we are here to help at The Allen Law Firm located in West Columbia, SC. We can help you understand the differences between a will and a trust and help you find the best solution for your particular situation.