A living trust allows you to AVOID PROBATE. Probate is a court procedure that is required if your assets are distributed without a will, under a simple will or under a will with a testamentary trust.
In probate court proceedings, the court changes the legal ownership of your property when you die. During probate the court must determine the validity of your will and supervise the payment of all your debts and taxes as well as the distribution of your probate estate to the people you name in your will. This process may take six months to a year or longer and is a matter of public record.
Assets that you leave to your heirs by a will goes through probate, but property passed through a living trust does not. With a living trust you can avoid the delay in the distribution of your estate entirely; the assets of your estate can be distributed to your designated beneficiaries immediately upon your death.