Charles Schwab asked three of their own professionals important questions regarding the differences between wills and trusts.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that specifies how your assets are to be distributed, usually without the involvement of a probate court. They can be structured to take effect before death, after death, or in case of incapacitation. In contrast, wills take effect only upon death and typically need to be authenticated by a probate court, which can take time and involve additional costs.
Trusts can be arranged to accomplish a variety of different goals. For example, you can use a trust to transfer property, help minimize estate taxes, preserve assets for minors until they are adults, or benefit a charity.