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WHAT IS THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A MARYLAND WILL
AND A TRUST
“There are different types of asset transfer vehicles that can ...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 2
There are different types of asset...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 3
The court would examine the will t...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 4
The beneficiaries are the individu...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 5
This is a positive, because probat...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 6
Trusts that are irrevocable can sa...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 7
SUMMARY
A will is used to state yo...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 8
REFERENCES
American Bar Associatio...
What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 9
About the Author
Colleen Sinclair ...
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What Is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust

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There are different types of asset transfer vehicles that can be used in the field of estate planning. The most commonly used estate planning document is the device called a last will or last will and testament. Learn more about last will in this presentation.

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What Is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust

  1. 1. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MARYLAND WILL AND A TRUST “There are different types of asset transfer vehicles that can be used in the field of estate planning. The most commonly used estate planning document is the device called a last will or last will and testament.” Colleen Sinclair Prosser Annapolis, Maryland Estate Planning Attorney
  2. 2. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 2 There are different types of asset transfer vehicles that can be used in the field of estate planning. The most commonly used estate planning document is the device called a last will or last will and testament. With a last will, you are stating your wishes regarding property that was in your sole and direct personal possession at the time of your passing. In your will, you name an executor to administer your estate after you are gone. After you pass, the executor would admit the will to probate, and the court would supervise the administration of the estate.
  3. 3. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 3 The court would examine the will to make sure that it is valid. Final debts would be paid during probate, including taxes. Ultimately, if everything was in order, the executor would prepare the assets for distribution to the heirs that are named in the last will. When the estate is closed by the court, the executor would be empowered to distribute the resources to the inheritors in accordance with the terms that are recorded in the will. TRUSTS Things are different with trusts. At the outset, we should point out the fact that there are revocable trusts, and there are irrevocable trusts. First, let's look at how revocable living trusts differ from last wills. If you establish a revocable living trust, you are called the grantor of the trust. The person or entity that administers the trust is called the trustee. As the grantor of the trust, you can act as the trustee while you are alive and well.
  4. 4. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 4 The beneficiaries are the individuals who can receive distributions from the trust. Once again, you can act as the beneficiary while you are living. You want the trust to serve as an estate planning device, so you name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you pass away, and you name successor beneficiaries who will receive monetary distributions. One major difference between a revocable living trust and a last will is the matter of probate. The successor trustee could distribute resources to the successor beneficiaries outside of the probate process after your death.
  5. 5. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 5 This is a positive, because probate can be quite time-consuming. Even if things are relatively simple and straightforward, it will take eight or nine months to a year in most areas. There are also expenses that accumulate during probate. Another difference would be the ability to include spendthrift protections. If you allow for lump sum distributions through the utilization of a last will, a spendthrift heir could burn through his or her inheritance recklessly. As a result, this individual could have nothing to draw from later on. With a revocable living trust, you can leave behind instructions that the trustee would be compelled to follow regarding the nature of the asset distributions. For example, you could allow for monthly distributions of a certain amount for an extended period of time. With a living trust, you can also account for latter life incapacity. Many elders become unable to handle their own decision-making at some point in time, so you could empower a disability trustee to administer the trust in the event of your incapacitation.
  6. 6. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 6 Trusts that are irrevocable can satisfy different objectives. Irrevocable trusts are used by high net worth individuals who are exposed to estate taxes, and these trusts can provide asset protection. There are also irrevocable trusts that can benefit a loved one with a disability without causing a loss of need-based government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. These are a few of the reasons why you may want to use a trust instead of a will, but there are others. The optimal asset transfer strategy will vary depending upon the circumstances.
  7. 7. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 7 SUMMARY A will is used to state your wishes regarding how you want property that was in your direct personal possession transferred after you pass away. On the other hand, you convey personally held property into a trust, and the trust becomes the owner of the property. There are different types of trusts, and there are varying respective objectives that can be accomplished through the utilization of a trust of some kind. If you would like to explore all of your options, schedule a consultation with a licensed estate planning attorney.
  8. 8. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 8 REFERENCES American Bar Association http://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate _planning.html AARP http://www.aarp.org/money/estate-planning/
  9. 9. What is the Difference Between a Maryland Will and a Trust www.sinclairprosserlaw.com 9 About the Author Colleen Sinclair Prosser Currently the owner and manager of SinclairProsser Law, LLC, Colleen steers her firm with both a guiding hand and direct involvement with the clients, bringing to the table a wealth of Estate Planning experience from many years spent at the helm of a busy law practice. In the past Colleen has served on the Board of Trustees for By Their Side, Lifelong Advocates for Marylanders with Developmental Disabilities and on the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys in the past. EXPERIENCE An established member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Colleen offers years of experience in estate preservation and transfer. A strong proponent of the living trust, she also focuses on wills, powers of attorney, living wills, probate, trust administration, prenuptial agreements, nursing home planning, and special needs planning. She strongly endorses long-term care insurance and, in certain cases, life insurance and some annuities as valuable estate preservation vehicles, and strives to assure the compatibility of her clients’ estate plan and financial plan. Sensitive to the challenges presented by lifestyle and circumstance, Colleen addresses each situation with personal attention, wisdom, and skill. SinclairProsser Law, LLC www.sinclairprosserlaw.com ANNAPOLIS 900 Bestgate Road Suite 103 Annapolis, MD 21401 Phone: (410) 573-4818 Fax: (410) 573-2802 MILLERSVILLE 1520 Jabez Run Rd, Suite 300 Millersville, MD 21108 Phone: (410) 573-4818 Fax: (410) 573-2802 BOWIE 14300 Gallant Fox Lane, Suite 204 Bowie, MD 20715 Phone: (301) 970-8080 Fax: (410) 573-2802 WALDORF Waldorf Business Suites, LLC 3195 Old Washington Rd, Ste 102 Waldorf, MD 20601 Phone: 800-366-4615

There are different types of asset transfer vehicles that can be used in the field of estate planning. The most commonly used estate planning document is the device called a last will or last will and testament. Learn more about last will in this presentation.

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