Differences between an Online Will and a Trust

Differences between an Online Will and a Trust

Have you heard of trust in place of an online will? Whether you have or not, this article will make some distinguishing analyses between the two. Afterwards, you can decide which of the two you want to go for, an online will or a trust. Regarding estate planning, the two serve the same purpose, but different conditions bring each one into action. 

Generally, an online will serves the general purpose of distributing your property to beneficiaries when you die. However, before the final execution of your will, a probate process must validate the will and the property transfer. Similarly, a trust is a legal document directly transferring ownership to a beneficiary. Meanwhile, it does not undergo the process of probate. 

Ultimately, both parties must reach a conclusion that works best for you as the client. To achieve this aim, our team of experts is committed to meeting your needs at the shortest time and cost. Saving these two resources is an advantage that creating an online will has that traditional will drafting doesn’t. We will discuss the differences between wills and trusts concerning planning for your properties. 

This difference is essential in guiding anyone to decide on the path to take when planning for an estate. At Chamberlain, we take responsibility of helping you figure out which of the two options works better for you. Before this decision, we will have to know the peculiarity of your condition. Then you also need to understand what the options are in detail. 

See also: Discounting the Myths of Online Wills in 2022

An Online Will vs Trust: What is the Difference?

Both wills and trusts are similar on many grounds, yet there are stark differences between them. Regarding the similarities, both are ways you can receive your assets. Only you need to do it differently. At the same time, the two terms refer to processes with their advantages and disadvantages. One difference between the two that cannot be ignored is how and when they are affected. In the case of a will or testament, it only comes into effect when the testator dies. But the trust is effective as soon as it is signed and funded by the initiator. In more precise terms, the role of a will as a legal document includes the following

  • Designate where each of your assets goes in terms of the beneficiary
  • Name guardians and custodians for your kids and your pets
  • Tidy up the final arrangements for the execution

These processes appear to be very simple, and indeed they are, but that is not without its price to pay. When you choose the will route, know that you may have limited control over the eventual distribution of the asset. You should state how you want them to the distributed, but the actual execution will be behind your back. Moreover, there may be disputes or other matters during the probate process that will warrant some changes. 

As for trusts, the conditions can be a bit trickier and comes with peculiar benefits such as;

  • With trust, you get more control over how your assets are assigned and distributed since you can monitor it yourself
  • A trust covers any asset you hold under it
  • Trust can come in different types and forms to cover other needs
Differences between an Online Will and a Trust

Another unique feature of a trust is that whenever you create it, remember that you will have to fund it. This funding process requires that the assets remain in the custody of the owner of the trust. Due to this funding process, a trust may be more complex before adding support than setting up an online will. But remember that if you want to avoid probating your property, you should choose a Trust rather than a will. 

Trust or Will – which one is better?

As the name sounds, each has its pros and cons, which will contribute to which option is better for you. Another factor to consider is that your specific situation or case will determine your choice above the other. Therefore, seeking which one is better is not a good idea. Instead, it would help if you focused on understanding the situation. Also, you can control the goal of setting up the property management plan from the start. A good understanding of these factors will create a better perspective to find a better solution.

Is it possible to use an online will and a trust together?

In practical terms, yes, you can have a will and a living trust to your name for your assets. The simple reason is established in our description above to show that they have different purposes. As a result, trust can help you manage and distribute your assets, whether alive or after death. However, a will is only active in managing and distributing your purchase after you must have passed on. 

You get to state how you want the assets distributed, and an appointed executor does that at your demise. Let us clarify that it is not recommended to have both a will and a trust active on one’s property. The reason is simple: the assets included in a funded trust do not require going to a probate court. The assets in your last will or testament would go through an extensive probate process. 

Therefore, you can easily spare yourself and your family all the burden by choosing one means of protecting your assets rather than doing the two together. 


Finally, we have clearly stated the differences between a trust and a will, including an online will. In all these processes, you should not do it alone if you need help or more clarity. Contact Chamberlain for details on how to set up an online will, and we will lead you easily. Moreover, creating an online will allow you to do it yourself and keep private matters. Whichever way you decide to go, ensure you do it right and according to the state’s prevailing laws.