Foundations Of Estate Planning: Trusts And Wills
Wills and trusts are perhaps the most well-known estate planning documents. As a Greenbelt wills and trusts attorney, I can educate you about the differences and help you decide if one or both are best for your situation.
The Law Offices of Terrence M. McGrath, LLC, provides estate planning services that focus on maximizing your asset protection and wealth transfer. As an experienced estate planning attorney, I can help you devise the strategy that works best for you and your family.
The Importance Of A Well-Written Will
The will is the cornerstone of most estate plans. The document’s more formal title — last will and testament — conveys its true importance. It speaks for you when you can no longer speak for yourself.
This is why it is so critical to have a thorough, clearly worded and legally sound will. Internet template forms and other one-size-fits-all solutions leave far too much room for error and ambiguity. Any clarifications or disputes will likely need to be settled in court, and that is not the legacy you want to leave your loved ones in their time of grief.
When you work with my firm, I will help you write a will that is perfectly customized to your needs and clearly reflects your estate planning goals. And as an attorney in practice for nearly three decades, I’m proud to be a resource for generations of families — from the parents who write the will to the children and grandchildren named as heirs and beneficiaries.
What To Know About Trusts
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I receive about trusts:
- How do I set up a trust? You will need to select a trustee and a beneficiary. The trustee can be an individual or an entity, such as a bank, that will facilitate the transfer of assets upon your death. You determine the amount of money that is in the trust, how much your beneficiary will receive, what the money can be used for and other issues. As your attorney, I can draft, establish and revise these documents as well as guide you through the decision-making process.
- Why would I use a trust? For many reasons. A trust helps your family and beneficiaries bypass the probate process. The average time frame for probating a will is one year. Revocable living trusts allow you to maintain control of the trust while you are living.
- What is the difference between a trust and a will? A will does not prevent probate. In fact, if there is a will, there will be probate. This does not necessarily mean a will is a bad thing. It just means there is a complex series of decisions to make.
Trusts are very useful legal instruments, in part, because they are highly customizable. Learn more about what kind of trust may be right for you.