A living trust is a written legal document through which your assets are placed into a trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death by your chosen representative, called a "successor trustee."
One of the first benefits of a living trust is that it avoids probate. With a valid will, your estate will go through probate, the court proceedings through which your assets are distributed according to your wishes by the executor. A living trust, on the other hand, does NOT go through probate, which often means a faster distribution of assets to your heirs—from months or years with a will down to weeks with a living trust.
Your successor trustee will pay your debts and distribute your assets according to your instructions. Notably, both documents allow you to choose a guardian for your children in the event of your death.
By simply having a will does not prevent the costly and lengthy process of probate. A living trust is not made public, upon your death, your estate will be distributed in private. A will, on the hand, is public record and so all transactions will be public as well.