last will and testament

Should I Create a Will or a Trust?

Wills and trusts are vital components of the estate planning process. While they may seem similar, they contain important differences that may make one or the other more appropriate for you and your unique needs. Get the facts on wills and trusts and learn which one is right for you.


A will is a legally enforceable document that dictates how you want your affairs to be handled after you pass away. A will can do the following:

  • Appoint guardians for any minor children

  • Communicate your wishes to a judge as to whom your estate will pass to upon your death

  • Provide, within reason, guidelines for how you would like beneficiaries to use the assets you have left them

  • Disinherit a spouse or child

It’s important to keep in mind that if you create a will, your estate will become a matter of public record, and anything left by a will must go through probate. Wills, however, do make the probate process easier because they clearly outline what you want to happen with your assets.


A trust is a legal agreement in which you give another party the authority to handle your assets for the benefit of the beneficiary. Trusts can be created while the property owner, or trustor, is still alive and can be edited throughout the trustor’s lifetime. The trust only becomes operational at the time of the trustor’s death.

A trust can accomplish the following:

  • Transfer property to loved ones after your death

  • Name a trustee to oversee the transfer of assets in accordance with your wishes

  • Keep your estate private and pass assets to heirs outside of probate court

Need Help with Estate Planning? Contact Us Today

At Upkins Law, we have extensive experience with Tennessee intestate succession laws and we know how to help you establish a will or a trust in accordance with your best interests. Our breadth of experience allows us to take a holistic approach to each client’s case, considering any and all legal and financial ramifications and therefore providing more effective counsel.

Contact us today at (615) 235-1991 to learn how we can assist you.