You’ve heard about a will, and may even have an updated one tucked into a drawer or a safe deposit box. It gives you peace of mind to think that your family will be taken care of if something happens to you.
You may also have heard about a trust and know that these are similar legal documents that help families plan for the future. But there are important differences between wills and trusts that you should know. But are important but which one is best for you and your family?
This article will help you understand the similarities and differences between wills and trusts in Maryland.
Benefits of a Will
A will is a legally binding document that distributes your assets in the event of your passing. Without a will, the State of Maryland will step in to distribute everything you own upon your death. A will can ensure that everything that you’ve worked for over the years will be taken care of in the manner of your choosing – and not at the discretion of a judge. Some of the benefits of having a will include: A will allows you to select the heirs for your property and financial holdings. You can dictate who gets what and how your assets are distributed.
– You can also select a fiduciary, which becomes your legal representative in distributing your assets.
– A will also allows you to appoint a guardian for your minor children, which may or may not be relatives.
– The will allows you to negate or manage any disputes that may arise. Anytime you can plan ahead in these matters will help prevent the stress on those left behind. A will helps in all of these areas.
Now let’s look at a trust and see how it differs from a will.
Trust Versus a Will
In some cases, you need more than a will to handle all of your estate planning. A trust is a more private document that is not filed with a court. It’s still legally binding and a Trustee is responsible for asset distribution.
A trust also allows for relatives or children to handle assets when you are seriously ill or if you have passed away. A will only allows this transfer of assets if you have died.
A trust also eliminates any sort of probate process, which can typically tack on a six or nine-week delay in the process of settling your final affairs.
Estate Planning with a Qualified Maryland Lawyer
Executing a will or a trust with a qualified Maryland lawyer will bring you the peace of mind that your wishes will be followed even after you’re not here. Ingerman & Horwitz are experienced Maryland attorneys that can develop a Revocable Living Trust or Last Will & Testament as part of your estate planning process. We can walk you through all of the steps necessary to ensure a tightly developed legal document compliant with all Maryland statutes. Contact us to find out more about a will or trust document today.