Whether you’re new to estate planning or thought you’ve had everything covered, it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin when you’re talking to your estate planner in Maryland. If you cover these topics, it can help make sure your wishes are carried out after you pass away.
Wills versus trusts
It’s a good idea to ask if you want both a will and a trust. In most cases, it’s a good idea to go with both.
You may be able to forego probate altogether with a trust. If you just have a will, on the other hand, you only get a shortened probate process. An estate plan typically includes a:
- Financial power of attorney
- Medical power of attorney
- Living will
You might be wondering if a will is enough or if you should also have an estate plan. Your will serves as the estate plan’s basis, and there are some notable benefits of adding a living trust to the estate planning equation.
Benefits of a living trust
A trust will likely save your family time and money. Even though it might not seem like an important factor now when there’s no rush to get the assets, you never know what the situation will be like after you pass away. Your loved ones might need those resources promptly to keep the family afloat.
The impact that estate taxes and state inheritance taxes have on your estate is also something to consider. A trust can help cut down on those taxes, and it may make a big difference.
It might be easy to decide who your beneficiaries should be. Other times, it’s not so clear cut and is something your estate planner can help you with.
Remember that you don’t have to select an individual as a beneficiary. They can also be schools, nonprofit organizations, or houses of worship. One asset may also be divided between a set of beneficiaries. It’s also a good idea to have a contingent beneficiary if your first choice cannot accept the asset or doesn’t want to.