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Understanding Will vs. Trust: A Guide for Texas Residents

by Legacy Plan
April 4, 2024

Navigating the intricacies of estate planning can feel overwhelming, especially when deciding between a will and a trust. For Texas residents, understanding the nuances of each option within the state’s legal landscape is crucial. This article aims to explain “will vs. trust” for Texans, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions for your legacy.

What is a Will?

A will, or a last will and testament, is a legal document that articulates your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children upon your death. In Texas, wills must comply with state laws to be valid, including being signed in the presence of witnesses.

Benefits of Having a Will in Texas

  • Control Over Asset Distribution: A will provides clear instructions on how your assets should be distributed, giving you control over who receives what.
  • Guardianship for Minors: Texans can use a will to appoint guardians for their minor children, a critical consideration for parents.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement allowing a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts can be categorized as either revocable or irrevocable and offer different advantages for estate planning.

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Advantages of a Trust in Texas

  • Avoiding Probate: Unlike wills, trusts typically bypass the probate process, offering a quicker and more private transfer of assets.
  • Flexibility and Control: Trusts allow for more detailed instructions on asset distribution, including when and how beneficiaries receive their inheritance.

Will vs. Trust in Texas: Key Differences

Understanding the key differences between wills and trusts is crucial for Texans. While both play pivotal roles in estate planning, factors such as privacy, the complexity of your estate, and how you wish to distribute your assets can influence which option is best for you.

How to Choose Between a Will and a Trust in Texas

Choosing between a will and a trust depends on your personal circumstances, financial goals, and the complexity of your estate. Consulting with an estate planning attorney within the Legacy Assurance Plan Network of attorneys can provide tailored advice based on your unique situation.

Common Questions and Answers

Questions Answers
Do all assets need to go through probate in Texas? No, not all assets require probate. Assets held within a trust, for example, bypass the probate process.
Can I have both a will and a trust in Texas? Yes, many Texans choose to have both, using them together for comprehensive estate planning.


Whether you opt for a will, a trust, or a combination of both, the key to effective estate planning in Texas is understanding your options. Schedule a consultation with an experienced Legacy Assurance Plan Network attorney to tailor a plan that meets your needs and secures your legacy.

Ready to take the next step in securing your legacy? Contact us today at 844-445-3422 or visit us at for personalized estate planning advice tailored to the unique needs of Texas residents.

Additional Texas Estate Law Resources

For those looking to dive deeper into the specifics of Texas estate law, the Texas State Law Library provides an invaluable resource. By visiting the Texas State Law Library, residents can access a wealth of information on wills, trusts, and estate planning under Texas law. Whether you're researching how to legally structure your trust, the requirements for a valid will in Texas, or simply seeking to educate yourself further on estate planning principles, this resource serves as a gateway to a comprehensive array of legal statutes and guidance. Empowering yourself with knowledge directly from a reputable source like the Texas State Law Library can bolster your understanding of estate planning in Texas, ensuring you make informed decisions about securing your legacy.

How do I create an estate plan?

There are numerous options and scenarios to consider when developing an estate plan that protects your legacy and achieves your objectives, and important decisions should be made with the advice of qualified lawyers and financial experts. Membership with Legacy Assurance Plan provides members with valuable resources and guidance to develop comprehensive estate plans that take life's contingencies into consideration and leave a positive impact for generations to come. Legacy Assurance Plan members also receive peace of mind that a team of trusted, experienced professionals will assist them in developing legal, financial and tax strategies that will meet their needs today and for years to come through periodic reviews.

This article is published by Legacy Assurance Plan and is intended for general informational purposes only. Some information may not apply to your situation. It does not, nor is it intended, to constitute legal advice. You should consult with an attorney regarding any specific questions about probate, living probate or other estate planning matters. Legacy Assurance Plan is an estate planning services company and is not a lawyer or law firm and is not engaged in the practice of law. For more information about this and other estate planning matters visit our website at

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