The main difference between a will and a trust is that every adult needs a will, but not everyone needs a trust. Trusts go into effect while you’re still alive and wills take hold after you die.
One of the most important differences between wills and trusts is the ability to name a guardian for your minor children. You can name a legal guardian in your will, but you can’t in a trust. So, even if you have a trust, you still need a will to make sure your kids are taken care of after you die.
Another important distinction between the two is that, unlike a will, a trust lets you skip probate court. That’s a big perk because probate court cases can occasionally get expensive and drag on for a while. But if you have a will, probate should be a smooth process. The worst situation would be to die without a trust or a will—your family could end up in court for months or years trying to sort out your estate. Not fun.
But if your will is clear, your estate isn’t huge, and you don’t have a ton of debt, probate won’t be a huge hassle. And you probably don’t need a trust. If you want to dig into this stuff a little more, check out this article.