While it can be difficult to confront your own demise, setting up an estate plan is important to ensuring that your wishes are followed and your loved ones taken care of after your death. There are many estate-planning vehicles available to you, but two of the most common are wills and trusts.
This is an excellent question. And of course, the answer is it depends.
Forbes recently considered this question in an article titled “Wills vs. Trusts: What's Best For Retirees?
There's really no reason not to have a will. A will is a testament that states your intentions as to how you would like your estate distributed after you pass. A will is a great idea to save your friends and loved ones much frustration and anxiety during the probate process.
A trust is, in essence, setting aside a gift (of property, investments, or money) for the benefit of another with some strings attached: you will name a trustee to care for the trust property for the beneficiary. For example, a trustee may be charged with holding the trust funds until the beneficiary reaches the age of 21, or the funds may only be used for education.
Speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney will help you determine how to set up your will and whether you might need to create a trust.
Reference: Forbes, February 18, 2014: “Wills vs. Trusts: What's Best For Retirees?”