Rockville Wills and Trusts Attorney Discusses Your Estate Planning Options
If you and your spouse are ready to update or implement an estate plan, you likely have several questions about the various types of documents available. From wills to trusts, advance directives to powers of attorney, the document pile seems to keep growing every time you consider the options. However, the best course of action during the planning stages is to consult with a Rockville wills and trusts attorney about the safest way to handle the transfer of your assets under federal and Maryland laws. For some families, a simple Last Will and Testament will take care of the testator’s wishes. For others, more complex plans are required in order to minimize tax liability or transfer interest in a family business.
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
A revocable living trust is a legal entity into which you and your spouse may transfer assets including real property, titled personal property and accounts. This type of trust allows the grantor (person setting up the trust) to name a trustee and beneficiaries, who will collect the assets upon the death of the grantor without having to endure probate. Revocable living trust property, however, is considered part of the grantor’s gross estate and is therefore considered taxable if the estate exceeds the Maryland exemption (currently set at $1 million).
Do I Need a Trust? Or is a Will Enough?
To answer this question, you must first discuss your financial portfolio and goals with a competent Rockville wills and trusts lawyer. From a purely logistical standpoint, you may want to consider placing property in trust if allowing your family to avoid the probate hassle is an important goal. Not only is probate costly, but it can take up to a year (or longer) to conclude.
Secondly, if you are nearing the exemption amount, you should most definitely consider placing property in trust with a properly-drafted marital exemption. By doing this, you can avoid the double assessment of state or federal estate tax upon the death of the second spouse, as well as reduce your taxable gross estate amount.
Lastly, certain trusts are extremely helpful for families considering their long-term care planning needs or the special needs of a beneficiary. Many times, government benefits are not available to those who earn too much per month to qualify, however the patient’s monthly care expenses are too high to manage on their own. By directing money into a trust for the benefit of a minor or disabled individual, you can preserve eligibility while ensuring they receive adequate care.
Contact a Rockville Wills and Trusts Attorney Today!
If you would like to discuss wills, trusts and other estate planning documents, contact a Rockville Wills and Trusts Lawyer at H&H Lawworks, LLC by calling (240) 403-2693.