Wills vs. Trusts -- A Simple Chart Comparison

Some people have Wills. Others have Trusts.  Trusts contain a Will.  What’s the difference?  

Both are estate planning tools that direct the distribution of your estate upon your death.  As explained in Investopedia:  

“A will is a written document expressing a deceased person's wishes, from naming guardians of minor children to bequeathing objects and cash assets to friends, relatives, or charities. A will becomes active only after one's death. A trust is active the day you create it, and a grantor may list the distribution of assets before their death in it, unlike a will.”

You’ll find a good description of the difference between Wills and Trusts on a website called “the balance”:

Nolo Press has prepared a chart to show the differences between a Living Trust and a Will: 





Name beneficiaries for propertyYesYes
Leave property to young children  Yes                       Maybe
Revise your document   Yes                       Yes
Avoid probate          Yes                       No
Keep privacy after death   Yes                       No
Requires a notary publicYes                       No
Requires transfer of property  Yes                       No
Protection from court challengesYes                       No
Avoid a conservatorship  Yes                       No
Name guardians for children    No                        Yes
Name property mgrs. for children's prop.No                        Yes
Name an executor NoYes
Instruct re payment of taxes & debtsNoYes
Simple to make   NoYes
Requires witnesses     NoYes


There can be substantial complexity in determining which document best suits your needs. You should consult with an Estate Lawyer to discuss your particular needs and the documentation that best serves your goals. 

But while there are very substantial differences between Wills and Trusts, for the purposes of registering your Will or your Trust at, there is no difference.   Both Wills and Trusts are registered identically on, and the process of adding your account information is identical.

So, yes, you can register your Trust at with the same ease as your Will.

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