A trust may be created by a Will, rather than during the lifetime of the Grantor. Such a trust is normally called a Testamentary Trust, and has no vitality or effect until the probate of the decedent’s Will. While a Testamentary Trust will not be useful in avoiding probate (since the Will must be admitted to probate in order to set up the trust), it may nonetheless be a valuable estate-planning tool. Testamentary Trusts are especially useful for providing for the continuing care of disabled children, spouses or other relatives, where there is some reason not to establish a Living Trust. For some individuals (especially professionals with potential lingering malpractice exposure), it may actually be desirable to go through the probate process so that potential creditor’s claims may be cut off; for such a person, the Testamentary Trust may be a viable option.
With the obvious exception of the avoidance of probate, most of what has been said about Living Trusts applies as well to Testamentary Trusts. Whether Living or Testamentary, a trust is a marvelously flexible way to provide for control over the use of assets, even after the death of the original owner.