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.