Some clients choose to create a Will for their estate plan while others create a Trust.  As detailed below, there are some major differences between using a Will versus using a Trust to create your estate plan.  At the Law Offices of Naomi T. Stal, we assist clients in making this choice as part of the outstanding services we provide to clients.

Understanding some of the differences between the Probate Administration and Trust Administration:

  • Although there is still an administration process, the Trust process is not court supervised. In probate, the court strictly oversees each step of the process.
  • Trust administration is less expensive than probate administration of the same exact estate because whenever a court is involved, things get pricey.
  • The Trustee immediately takes over management of the decedent’s assets without a waiting period or a period of confusion for loved ones.
  • A will is public record and a trust is a private document. Therefore, a probate process involves proceedings open to the public and all supervise by court whereas a trust administration is not supervised by court so the process is private.
  • In probate, you cannot distribute certain assets to beneficiaries until the entire process is completed; which can take up to two years and can sometimes be costly whereas in a trust, a trustee may make a preliminary distribution to beneficiaries prior to the completion of the Trust administration.
  • A will may have additional fees that will need to be paid to the executor, in addition to court fees and attorney fees.
  • In trust administration, if beneficiaries and trustees are in disagreement, there is seldom an easy way to resolve it because the course doesn’t supervise.

If you have questions regarding estate planning, probate administration, or trust administration, please contact the Law Offices of Naomi T. Stal at 805-987-2500 download a FREE estate planning worksheet today!


Don’t feel overwhelmed, with our FREE worksheet, you will be able to start yourself and your family on the road to a clearer more secure future.