Smarter Will - Attorney Reviewed by Hedeker and Perrelli, Ltd.

Wills Vs Trusts

Wills are the cornerstone of estate planning, but they aren’t the only tools to consider. We’re often asked what the difference is between wills vs trusts. The truth is: one does not replace the other. They’re often both needed in conjunction with one another.

Wills between married couples at their most basic form are referred to as simple wills. Estate planning attorneys have also nicknamed them “I love you” wills. That’s because we often see them as more of a gesture of love than an advanced estate planning tool. A simple will basically states, “When I die, I leave everything to my wife. Or if she dies first, she’ll leave everything to me.” After all, that’s what marriage is: an equal partnership, right? Not necessarily (at least when it comes to smart estate planning).

Now let’s look at the consideration of wills vs trusts. If you own more than $500,000 in assets, simply leaving your spouse everything in a will can have undesirable consequences. Couples who own a home and have some retirement savings and other investments built up will easily surpass this threshold. That’s when trusts become useful. While a will simply lays out distribution of property wishes for after you pass away, trusts can help ensure that:

While setting up trusts has an upfront cost, that price is much smaller than the price your family could potentially pay by relying on a simple will alone. Here are some specific considerations when it comes to wills vs trusts:

For more information about wills vs trusts, read When a Will Is Not Enough.


Help Me Choose Determine which package is right for you.

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Free document revisions for an entire year.

Call Us Toll-Free 800-481-1025 (Law firms only)

Copyright © Smarter Will™

Join Our Smarter Will Community and Be a Part of Something Big Smarter Will on Facebook Smarter Will on Twitter Smarter Will on YouTube Smarter Will RSS Feed

For special offers and promotions, as well as the latest news, please sign up for the Smarter Will newsletter.

RSS Feed Signup

Get the latest estate planning and Smarter Will news by subscribing to the Smarter Will RSS feed.

Disclaimer: SmarterWill™ is not a law firm and neither SmarterWill nor its agents or employees provide legal services or legal advice at any time. Therefore, no attorney-client relationship exists between you and SmarterWill. Although this Web site contains legal information, legal information is not legal advice and information alone may not meet your specific needs or questions. Use of the legal information on this Web site is subject to the Terms of Use and is not a substitute for obtaining the advice of an attorney authorized to practice law in the State of Illinois. The legal information on this Web site is provided "as-is."


Any legal services offered through this Website are provided by independent attorneys and law firms who are not affiliated with SmarterWill in any way. The fee you pay includes legal fees to be transferred, without mark-up, for the services provided by the Attorney you select to provide services to you.


Document assembly is powered by Rapidocs and the DirectLaw Virtual Law Firm Platform.