What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust in Maryland?

There are few things more important than planning for the future. While there are many ways you can do so, creating a comprehensive estate plan is a fantastic start. Two of the primary documents in estate plans are wills and trusts, and though they work in conjunction with one another, they are very different documents. Please continue reading and speak with our Maryland estate planning attorneys to learn more about the difference between a will and a trust. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is the purpose of writing a will?

There are various benefits of writing a will. Essentially, a will is the cornerstone document in your estate plan that will essentially outline what you wish to happen with many of your assets upon your passing. In your will, you will appoint an executor, who will ensure that your wishes are carried out as you would have intended upon your passing. You will also select beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are the people who you want to receive your assets after you pass away. When someone fails to create a will, he or she dies “intestate,” which means that their assets will essentially be distributed by the state of Maryland. At this point, an intestate succession schedule will be followed, meaning that the courts will decide who will receive your assets based on their relation to you, the decedent. While they will try to be fair, they may not distribute your assets as you would have wished, which is why it is so critical you create a will.

Why should I create a trust?

As previously mentioned, creating a trust is another critical aspect of estate planning. A trust is a contract between the estate and a trustee. Essentially, the trustee manages the trust for the beneficiary of the trust. So, when you create a trust, you are basically giving another person the authority to manage certain assets either on your behalf or on behalf of a third party, such as a child. Trusts generally avoid the probate process, can help save on taxes, and will give the trustor the ability to control their wealth. Some of the most common types of trusts individuals choose in Maryland include irrevocable trusts, revocable trusts, testamentary trusts, life insurance trusts, and special needs trusts. For any further questions, or if you are ready to get started, give us a call today.

Contact our experienced Montgomery County, Maryland firm

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.