Wills and trusts are estate-planning tools. A major difference between a will and a trust is effective date. A will goes into effect only after you die. A trust goes into effect the moment you create it.
Another difference is when your property is distributed to your beneficiaries. When you die the will directs your legal representative to carry out your wishes of how to divide your estate. By contrast, a trust is used for you as a trustee to manage your assets during your life and to distribute your assets after your death.