Trusts vs Wills - Defined: The main advantage for a living trust is the avoidance of probate. Probate is a state court proceeding in which your property is transferred to your heirs. All Wills must be probated. Since probate only affects assets which you own at the time of your death, assets placed in a living trust are not owned by you, therefore, there is no probate on those assets. Probate will generally cost about 3-4% of the value of the probate assets and will take between 9 months to 2 years (absent litigation or contested claims) to complete.In addition, Trusts are usually harder to contest than Wills.
Living Trust - Maintenance
However, a Living Trust takes longer to put together than a Will, and requires more ongoing maintenance. Although both a Will and a Living Trust can be modified or revoked at any time before death, such changes are slightly more time consuming for a Living Trust. Additionally, assets that a person wants to move to a Living Trust, such as real estate and financial accounts, have to be retitled.
To summarize, the transfer of assets to the living trust must be carefully and properly documented, and dealing with third parties tends to be difficult. The living trust, because of the transfer of documents and its operation as a viable entity during the grantor's lifetime, make it more expensive to draft and implement than a Will.