In some ways, wills can be tedious documents because they must be executed with all of the formalities required by state law. Typically, this must occur in front of witnesses.
The formal requirements make it difficult to change a will quickly, as the requirements make it less likely that someone else can fraudulently change the will. The witnesses can theoretically testify in court and prevent the fraud.
For many purposes, trusts are better and easier legal instruments to work with than wills. However, that has its downsides as the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discusses in "Preserving a Trust."
When a particular trust is easy to revoke or alter, it is easier for someone else to do so fraudulently. For trusts to be valid, they do not have the formal requirements that wills do. No one needs to be present to witness the trust being signed in most states.
That makes it possible for someone to fraudulently revoke a trust and create a different one that benefits themselves, because the lack of formal trust requirements may at the same time be beneficial and also create a hazard.
There are ways to guard against this possibility when creating a trust. This is one of many reasons why you should not simply download a revocable living trust form online. It is much better to go to a Cincinnati estate planning attorney, who can create a trust and help you execute it with some protections against fraud.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your estate plans or when probating an estate or administering a trust, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage a Cincinnati estate planning attorney.
For more information about estate planning, probate or trust administration in Cincinnati (and throughout the rest of Southwest Ohio) and to review free resources regarding estate planning, probate or trust administration, visit my website. If you have questions regarding this article or a particular legal matter, feel free to contact me at 513-399-PLAN (7526).
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (April 1, 2018) "Preserving a Trust."