Although living trusts and last wills are both used to distribute property to beneficiaries, there are some important differences between them. One of the key benefits of a living trust is that it limits the probate court's involvement in property distribution. Unlike a last will, which can be tied up in probate for years, a living trust can quickly and smoothly transfer assets to beneficiaries. Because a living trust is not registered with a court, the estate's details remain private. To see a complete comparison of living trusts and last wills, please click here.
If you decide to create a living trust, you may also want to create a pour-over will. A pour-over will provides for the distribution of non-trust property that is not otherwise distributed, and lets you name a guardian for your minor children. A LegalZoom Living Trust includes a pour-over will.