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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS > Estate Planning Questions & Answers > HOW DO I CHOOSE WHETHER TO CREATE A WILL or REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST?

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All properly planned estates should include either a Will or a Revocable Living Trust ("R:T") to describe who will benefit from the estate, and how the heirs are to receive their inheritance. 

There is no tax advantage to either a Will or a Living Trust.  Credit Shelter Trust tax planning can be built into both Wills and Living trusts. 

The only significant difference between the two is that a Will requires probate, and a Living Trust that holds all of the decedent’s property avoids probate.  A properly written Living Trust will also include instructions about managing your estate for your benefit if you become disabled. 

 

While a Will should work fine in California, if one of your most important goals in estate planning is to make the process of transferring your estate to your heirs a private matter, and as easy and hassle free as possible, the Living Trust is generally the better choice.