per  IWhen To Have Will vs. Trust in Texas

Honestly, this is the #1 question from our Texas estate planning clients.  In Texas, most people either use a revocable living trust or a last will and testament.  Both are way better than nothing, and both are easy to get with the help of an estate planner.


So, which Is Better in Texas, a Will or Trust?

A revocable living trust is almost always better than a will. Many of our estate planning clients use this basic type of trust in place of a will, and we like to think of revocable trusts and wills as doing the same thing (just in a different way).

Keep in mind that there is no “one-size-fits-all” option for estate planning.  So, let’s discuss the four main benefits of a Texas revocable living trust.

 BENEFIT 1 of a Texas Living Trust:

Wills go through probate court when you die.  This almost always means that your family is going to hire a probate attorney and wait weeks or even months to be able to access your accounts and manage your estate.

With a revocable living trust, on the other hand, your family can avoid probate court.  That saves them time and thousands of dollars.

With a trust, you can actually make the trust the owner of your accounts and your home.  So, when you pass away, there was nothing “in your name.”  With no assets technically in your name, there is no need to probate.


BENEFIT 2 of a Texas Living Trust:

A Revocable Living Trust is much more customizable. With a will, it’s very regimented.  The will pretty much says what it needs to say–who are the beneficiaries, who is the executor, and some boilerplate. 

With a trust, on the other hand, you can have all kinds of special provisions.  For example, we’ve prepared all kinds of unique provisions for our clients.  We created a trust one time that allowed the client’s cat to reside in the client’s house until the cat’s death.  We’ve created trusts that require beneficiaries to have a drug test completed before the beneficiaries can inherit.  Again, trusts are SO customizable.  You can get what you want, instead of being forced into a box.


BENEFIT 3 of a Texas Living Trust:

Privacy.  Trusts give you and your loved ones privacy. 

If you have a will instead of a trust, when your will goes through probate court, your family will usually be required to file an inventory of all your assets.  That probate inventory is public record, which means the whole world gets to see how much you’re worth, what your family is inheriting, and a list of all of your assets.  With a trust, since there’s no probate, there’s no public-record inventory.

Also, many of our clients transfer their assets into the trust during their lifetime.  If you give your trust a name that doesn’t include your own name, then nosy people looking through the public record won’t see your assets when they search using your name.  Many of our clients, especially doctors and lawyers, love that they can take their names out of the public record searches.


BENEFIT 4 of a Texas Living Trust:

You can tailor how your beneficiaries receive their inheritance after your death.  With a trust, you don’t have to give your beneficiaries a lump-sum inheritance upon your passing.  In other words, you can give the inheritance to them in multiple parts or even spread out the distributions for the beneficiary’s entire lifetime. It is no problem for a trust attorney to customize the distributions to your beneficiaries, and the sky’s the limit!



The “will vs. trust in Texas” has been around for ages.  After having completed thousands of wills and living trusts, we can confidently say trusts are better than wills (but whether or not a trust is worth it really depends on the particular client).  In a matter of minutes, we can help you decide between will vs. trust.



Let’s Talk…

To ask a legal question or get legal help from Texas trust and estate planning attorneys at Shutt Law Firm, use the online contact form to the right or call (214) 302-8197.

Visit for more information on creating a living trust in Texas, Texas trust vs. will, how to get a Texas last will and testament, cost for a trust in Texas, or any other question for the estate planning attorney, contact the Richardson, TX Estate Planning and Trust Attorneys by clicking here.

Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX and just South of Plano, Texas. The law office is near the intersection of highway 75 and Arapaho Road in Richardson, TX.


You can also call the Shutt Law Firm estate planners at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter.

Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you want to know “how much does a living trust cost in Texas?”, more about Texas trusts, revocable trusts, a Texas Last Will and Testament, or if you need Dallas Estate Attorneys serving Richardson, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Addison, TX, Collin County, or surrounding North Texas area.


DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice. The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education. If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation. Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists until both you and attorney Isaac Shutt sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.

Probate Attorney, Wills Lawyer, and Guardianship Attorney By Isaac Shutt