Given only your two options, I would choose the trust and a Will. This would give you the possibility of avoiding probate, upon your death. Normally, the successor trustees would not be required to sign the trust agreement. Your trust and the accompanying documents should be prepared by an attorney. The attorney will not only prepare all necessary documents correctly, but will also assist you with funding the trust and answering any ongoing questions that may crop up.
You are very wise to be taking care of this. Your beneficiaries will thank you.
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Whether a will with a testamentary trust at the "end" is better or a revocable living trust (with a "pour over" will) is best is really dependent on the situation so you need to visit with an attorney to determine your needs and options. In many cases the living trust is best or makes the most sense with all things considered. Speak to an attorney please.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/Ask a similar question
Which option is better depends on your circumstances. The most important item, as I see it, is that you need to consult with a local estate planning attorney, and not take this on as a do-it-yourself project. By reviewing your circumstances with local counsel, you will be able to make an informed decision on which avenue is best under your particular facts. I applaud you for taking the initiative to ask the question.
** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client relationship. When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel. For more information, you can reach my office at: ww.EGoldLaw.com or by calling: 818-279-2737.Ask a similar question