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The difference between a last will and testament and a living trust

Most of the time, when people do their estate planning, they do it because they want to make sure that distribution is done in the way that they wanted to be done after the pass away. For these purposes, there is really just one difference between a last will and testament and a revocable living trust: the first one has court supervision (probate) while the second one does not.

When families want to do a “simple” plan in figure last will and testament is about as simple as it gets, that is not the case at all. Last wills can be every bit as complex as revocable living trusts. Similarly, revocable living trust can be just as simple as wills, perhaps even more simple.

Now there are other aspects to revocable living trust that provide them with greater flexibility, particularly when it comes to incapacity planning. However, that is a topic for a future blog post.

My main point here is that we tend to get caught up in names of documents and what it is that they do. It is not incredibly important that you have a last will and testament or that you have a revocable living trust, in and of itself. What is important is what is inside these documents and how they benefit you and more importantly, how they benefit your family.  

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Ahmed Shaikh, Attorney at Law, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout Orange County, Los Angeles County and Riverside County in Southern California, including Tustin, Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Fullerton, Brea, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Lake Forest, San Clemente, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano and Buena Park.

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