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What’s the Difference between a Testamentary Trust and a Revocable Living Trust?

Both are created to hold assets for a individual or class or beneficiaries for a variety of reasons – most likely to protect assets from waste and delay gratification for minor or immature beneficiaries. A Testamentary Trust is one that is created at death through your will. It is a direction to the Executor to create a trust if certain conditions are satisfied or not satisfied. For instance, if the intended beneficiary is under a certain age, a direction in the will may create a trust to hold the beneficiary’s share until they reach that certain age. If the beneficiary is already that age or older, the trust would not be created.

A Revocable Living Trust is one that is created during the lifetime of the trust creator is a used to receive all assets of the trust creator, whether by will or by beneficiary designation. This type of trust is generally use in more complex estate plans which require all asset types be governed by a common set of succession and distribution rules.

Author Bio

Paul Yokabitus

Paul Yokabitus is the CEO and Managing Partner of Cary Estate Planning, a Cary, NC, estate planning law firm. With years of experience in estate and elder law, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including estate planning, guardianship, Medicaid planning, estate administration, and other cases.

Paul received his Juris Doctor from the Campbell University School of Law and is a North Carolina Bar Association member. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named among the “Best Attorney in Cary” in 2016 and 2017 by Cary News and Rising Star in 2020-2023 by Super Lawyers.

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