This is an interesting question. I would imagine you know that a will is used for the disposition of an individual's asset at the time of their death. What is lesser known is that a will can contain a trust for the benefit of some survivors or individual survivor at the time of the testator's death. If a trust is contained within a will it is called a "Testamentary Trust". One of the problems with a will, among others, is that the will and if it contains a trust, these are public documents than anyone could obtain after the will has been probated. In fact the final probate accounting that will close the estate would also be a public document available to anybody who wants to see. Therefore no confidentiality and potentially a requirement to file annual accountings with the court justifying all of the executor's actions and then the trustee's actions for the duration of the trust. On the other hand, and for over 30 years I use what is referred to as a "Pour-Over" will and a revocable trust for just about every client I have ever had. The will as mentioned above, is a public document but it has very limited provisions and typically leaves all of the assets that are in the probate estate, if there are any, to the trustees of the separate revocable trust. When the revocable trust has all of the assets either prior to or after death, the revocable trust is a private document never available to the public and confidentiality is maintained. In addition, a revocable trust has a set of provisions during the life of the grantor/testator that allows for their care in the event they become incapable of handling their own affairs. Again no one has access to these documents other than the trustee and the beneficiaries and although the trustee is required to file an accounting, it is done to the beneficiaries and never to the court unless someone protests something along the way. One of the primary reasons for using the revocable trust is to avoid the probate process which is unnecessary in probably 98% of all the estates. The revocable trust does not in any way save any taxes during the life of the grantor and in fact, any income and capital gains that are earned by the assets in the trust during the life of the grantor are simply reported on the grantor's personal tax return as the revocable trust is not required to file its own tax return. I know this got a little lengthy but your question is extremely important and I for one appreciate your taking the time to have laid this question out . I hope this helps and good luck
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