What are the Differences Between a Will and a Trust?

One of the most important things an individual can do for themselves is to create an extensive estate plan. In doing so, they make a plan to prepare for what happens to their assets after they pass away. This helps an individual to protect their cherished possessions and belongings. This may include assets such as real estate, bank accounts, securities, and personal items. A crucial part of an estate plan is writing a will. A will is a legal document that recognizes how a person wishes to have their assets handled after they are gone. An experienced attorney can guide individuals through creating a will that is best for them and their loved ones.

What is a Will?

When individuals create an estate plan, they sometimes wish to write a will. A will is a legal document that allows an individual to decide what they wish to happen to their assets once their life is over. Having a will can prevent and concerns about what would happen to an individual’s assets should they be left unmanaged or unplanned for. In addition to this, it ensures the individual’s belongings do not end up in the wrong hands, but in those of their choosing. This helps to avoid any possible conflicts between loved ones that believe they are entitled to certain assets over others.

If an individual passes away without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” This means their assets are given to and can be distributed by the state of Maryland. When this happens, the state typically follows a schedule of intestate succession that determines who the assets belong to based upon their relation to the deceased.

What is a Trust?

Another part of creating an estate plan may include creating a trust as a way to manage their assets. A trust is essentially a contract between the estate and a trustee. A trustee is an individual who manages the trust for the individual who benefits from the trust, otherwise known as a beneficiary. This arrangement allows a trustee to hold the assets on behalf of the beneficiary.

There are many benefits to setting up a trust. Because a trust avoids probate, it is possible for a beneficiary to gain access to these assets faster. It also gives a trustor, the individual who creates the estate, the opportunity to control their wealth by deciding who the estate is distributed to. Similar to a will, it allows them to ensure their properties do not end up in the wrong hands. There are several different types of trusts that may be created in Maryland. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Revocable Trust
  • Irrevocable Trust
  • Life Insurance Trust
  • Testamentary Trust
  • Special Needs Trust

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is interested in creating an estate plan and is seeking legal counsel, contact JD Katz, Attorneys at Law today.

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.