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Wills Vs. Trusts: Which One Is Right for You? 

Law Office of Sharion L. Fisher Nov. 3, 2023

Living trust or will question on the pageHaving all your affairs in order is always a good idea, regardless of how old and wealthy you are. This can be accomplished through estate planning. However, many people do not know where to start when it comes to setting up an estate plan, especially considering the abundance of tools available that can be incorporated into the plan.  

Wills and trusts are the most common estate planning tools. People often have a hard time understanding the difference between wills and trusts and deciding which one is better for them. While these tools share some similarities, they are very different.  

As an estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Sharion L. Fisher, I understand that creating an estate plan is a very personal matter. The tools and documents you need as part of your estate plan depend on your wishes and circumstances. I am here to listen to your situation and help you create a personalized plan that meets all of your specific needs and goals. My law office is based in Dallas, Texas, but I serve clients throughout Dallas County, Ellis County, Collin County, and Tarrant County.  


A Last Will and Testament – known as the “will” – is the most integral part of any estate plan because this document can be used to name a person who would serve as the personal representative of the estate (also known as the “executor”) after their passing. Aside from that, the testator (the person who creates the document) can outline how they want their property and assets to be split among their beneficiaries (individuals or entities who would inherit their assets).  

Typically, a will goes through the probate process, which can be both costly and time-consuming. During probate, the court authenticates the deceased person’s will and approves the personal representative named in the document to give them the authority to carry out their duties. However, if the decedent did not name a personal representative, the court will appoint one.  

If a person dies without a will or their will is considered invalid by the probate court, the division of their property and assets will be governed by their respective state’s intestate succession laws. 


A trust is a legal arrangement that comes in the form of a contract between the trustor (the creator of the trust), the trustee (the person who assumes the responsibility to manage the trust), and the beneficiary (the person or entity who will receive the benefits from the trust). The legal arrangement dictates the transfer, ownership, and management of the trustor’s assets. When an asset is held in a trust, the trustor no longer retains rights of ownership over that asset, which allows the asset to bypass probate.  

There are two primary types of trusts: 

  1. Revocable trusts, as the name implies, can be modified or revoked by the trustor after the legal arrangement is created; and 

  1. Irrevocable trusts cannot be modified or revoked by the trustor unless the trustor obtains the written consent of all the trust beneficiaries prior to the modification/revocation.  

However, even if a trust is created as revocable, it automatically becomes irrevocable once the trustor dies. Which type of trust is right for you depends on your particular goals and circumstances.  

Deciding Which One Is Right for You

Both a will and a trust have their own advantages and disadvantages, which may make it even more difficult to choose which one is right for you. However, it is crucial to understand that you do not have to choose just one between the two. In fact, you can make your estate plan more comprehensive and fool-proof by including both a will and a trust, as well as a power of attorney, advance directive, and other documents.  

You can use a will to outline how you would want all of your assets to be distributed after your passing and name guardians for your minor children, something you cannot do with a trust. With a trust, however, you can ensure that your assets avoid the expensive and lengthy probate process and are managed according to your instructions. 

If you cannot decide between a will and a trust, you might want to consider creating what is known as a “pour-over will.” This type of will allows you to fund a trust with any assets that have not been placed in a trust before your passing. Once they are placed into a trust, these assets will be managed by the trustee for the benefit of your beneficiaries.  

If this seems like a lot of information to process, I understand. As an estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Sharion L. Fisher, I can help you identify the best tools as part of your plan to achieve your specific goals and suit your needs.  

Make Informed Decisions Every Step of the Way

If you are thinking of setting up an estate but are not sure whether you need a will or a trust (or both), I can help. At the Law Office of Sharion L. Fisher, I can provide you with the guidance you need so that you can make informed decisions at every stage of the estate planning process. Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more about the tools that may work best in your specific situation.