Estate Planning FAQs

Estate Planning Basics

Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

Wills and trusts are two different tools for distributing property after your death. The difference is how your property is distributed. With a will, your property is distributed through the probate process, which can be costly and time-consuming depending on the size of your estate. With a trust, your estate will skip probate and go to your loved ones with minimal cost and delay.

Read the rest of this page to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each before deciding which is best for you. If you still have questions, schedule a free consultation with our Reno estate planning attorney.

Will vs. Trust: Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Simple and inexpensive
  • No need to re-title assets
  • Must go through probate
  • Cannot manage or restrict inheritances
  • Not useful in case of disability or incapacity
  • Becomes part of public record

Living Trusts

  • Avoids cost and delay of probate
  • Can manage or restrict inheritances
  • Provides protection in the event of disability or incapacity
  • Does not become part of the public record
  • More costly to set up than a will
  • Must re-title assets

Living Trust or Will: Which One is Right for Me?

There’s no right or wrong answer when choosing between a will or trust.

As a rule of thumb, we’ve found that the cost-benefit of a living trust becomes most favorable when there is real estate involved. Even if it’s just a primary residence, the cost savings of avoiding probate can exceed $10,000. Compared to the cost of setting up a trust, the savings are apparent.

Aside from just the cost, living trusts tend to be a good choice for clients who are concerned about handing over a large inheritance to their children, either because their children are still very young or have shown signs of financial irresponsibility. A living trust allows these clients to manage and protect their children’s inheritance by restricting their access to the funds.

For clients who have no real estate and/or aren’t worried about their children’s inheritance being mismanaged, a Will is often perfectly adequate.

Will and Trust Attorney

Regardless of which one you choose, we can help you set up a will or trust for your estate. Schedule an initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today.