An Estate Planning Tool to Protect Your Assets
Trusts Lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD
Trusts can help you achieve your estate planning goals, preserve your assets, avoid probate, and make sure your family members receive their inheritance after you pass on. At Chesapeake Wills and Trusts, we can help you set up a trust that serves your estate planning needs in Maryland.
Call (443) 232-9479 to consult an experienced trusts lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD.
Types of Trusts in Maryland
Maryland recognizes several types of trusts, including:
- Revocable living trust. The main goal of living trusts is avoiding probate and giving you a higher level of control over asset distribution. You can modify or dissolve a revocable trust anytime during your lifetime.
- Irrevocable trust. Irrevocable trusts are useful tools for asset protection. For instance, with the right setup, an irrevocable trust can protect property from the high cost of nursing home care. A properly drafted irrevocable trust can allow you to stay in control on your assets while protecting the assets you have worked your entire life to accumulate.
- Special needs trust. A special needs trust (SNT) can help provide for a loved one with special needs while preserving their eligibility for government benefits. SNTs may be either revocable or irrevocable.
How Trusts Work
When you transfer property to a trust, the trust becomes the official owner of the assets. Depending on the type of trust, you may continue using the assets as before or comply with any restrictions the trust’s terms impose. For example, a trust may limit fund use to certain purposes, like a family member’s essential needs, or schedule asset distribution to follow future events like a child’s graduation from college.
Every trust is a legal agreement that involves three parties:
- The grantor, or trust creator
- The trustee, who is responsible for trust management
- The beneficiary or beneficiaries, who receive trust funds
If you create a revocable trust, you can act as the trustee and beneficiary during your lifetime. You’ll also need to appoint a successor trustee to take over trust administration after your death. Irrevocable trusts, in contrast, require an independent trustee.
Why You Need an Experienced Trusts Lawyer
While setting up a trust is a comparatively quick process, you need to work with a competent trust attorney to make sure that your trust fits your purpose and complies with Maryland requirements.
Depending on your goals, a trust lawyer from Chesapeake Wills and Trusts can:
- Draft a trust document that helps you avoid probate, speed up property distribution, safeguard assets, or protect vulnerable family members
- Ensure that the trust terms are legally binding and not open to challenges
- Facilitate smooth trust administration in case of your incapacitation or death
- Modify trust terms if necessary
Chesapeake Wills and Trusts: Probate, Trust, and Estate Planning Law Firm Serving Maryland
If you have a complex or large estate, a trust can help you manage property during your life and facilitate asset distribution after your passing. At Chesapeake Wills and Trusts, we help clients across Maryland establish, run, and modify trusts.
Call (443) 232-9479 or fill out our online form for a consultation with a Glen Burnie-based trusts lawyer.
Understanding How Trusts Work in Maryland
In general, a trust is a contract that provides how assets will be held, distributed, and managed. This contract involves three parties:
- The grantor who creates and funds it
- The trustee who controls it
- The beneficiary who receives assets from it
In many cases, you may serve in all three of these roles, the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiary. When establishing a trust, you also have the power to name a successor trustee to manage your assets if you are no longer able, due to either death or disability.
Trusts Are Central to Maryland Estate Planning and Asset Protection
When it comes to estate planning, there are two types of trusts. The first type of trust is a testamentary trust. A testamentary trust is created after your death and your will goes through probate. This trust disburses your estate to your heirs according to the provisions in your Last Will And Testament. Testamentary trusts are often used as a way to hold assets for minor beneficiaries until they reach the age when they can properly manage the assets.
The other type of trust is the one created during your lifetime, which is commonly referred to as a “living trust”. You can choose to create these living trusts on your own and fund them while you are still alive and/or through life insurance or other assets at the time of your death. They offer various benefits and can even eliminate the need for your assets to pass through probate. Living trusts are a powerful tool that allows you to create your own rules for how your assets will be managed during your lifetime, plus provide how your assets are to be distributed after your death.
How We Serve Our Clients Anne Arundel County and All Across Maryland
Planning for your own end of life, or a situation where due to disability you are unable to manage your assets, isn’t exactly comfortable. However, putting off planning can lead to more stress for your loved ones and unnecessary uncertainty around what happens to your estate.
Whether your loved one has a clear estate plan, or no plan at all, the probate process adds unneeded stress to your life during a difficult time. Not knowing how the courts will distribute your family member’s assets can feel scary.
We believe everyone deserves the time they need to grieve the loss of a loved one and probate shouldn’t get in the way.
A guardianship is the legal process used by the courts to appoint someone to make legal and financial decisions for people who cannot do it for themselves due to a physical or mental disability. If a guardian is appointed, the person subject to the guardianship loses the ability to make decisions for themselves for as long as they remain disabled.
Last Will and Testament
A common misconception after a loved one enters a nursing home is that it’s too late to protect their assets, or that they will have to spend their life savings before they can apply for Medicaid assistance.
It's not too late! Our Medicaid Crisis Lawyers can help you protect your loved one’s assets and work to make them Medicaid eligible even after they enter a nursing home.
Powers of Attorney
Chesapeake Care Plan
The Benefits of Establishing a Trust as a Part of Your Comprehensive Estate Plan
Trusts are a versatile estate planning tool. They allow us to protect assets, determine where your money goes, and even help your family members get access to your money during any period of disability and streamline the distribution of your assets after your death.
Depending on the rules of the trust, other benefits may include:
- Allowing your family members to avoid litigation and the Maryland probate process after your death
- Giving you more control over how your beneficiaries can spend the money you leave behind
- Protecting your assets from creditors or civil liability
- Protecting assets from Medicaid spend-down if you require nursing home or long-term care
- Helping your heirs gain access to the funds without delay
- Saving the money and fees associated with probate
- Ensuring the financial future of a family member with special needs or who requires other special support
Let Our Estate Planning Attorneys Help You Decide If a Trust Is Right for You
The laws surrounding trusts and asset protection are complex, and many attorneys who do not work with them regularly do not understand them fully. The best way to know if a trust might be a good option for you and your family is to sit down with an estate planning lawyer who can listen to your needs and explain your options for creating a comprehensive plan to safeguard your estate and your family’s financial future.
In general, trusts are very flexible making them a good tool for almost every family. However, understanding which type of trust you need, and the specific details of its setup, is paramount in ensuring it serves its purpose. Each type of trust has advantages and disadvantages, and we want to ensure you understand them fully before we set one up for you.
- Case evaluations and consultations that allow us to get a full picture of your family’s finances, future goals, and estate planning needs
- Help with specific estate planning needs, such as special needs trusts
- Advice on Medicaid and asset protection
- Help setting up a trust to protect your life savings
- Comprehensive estate planning tools and high-quality legal services
Contact our Maryland Estate Planning, Wills, and Trusts Lawyers Today
At Chesapeake Wills and Trusts, our estate planning team is standing by to help you protect your family’s home and life savings. Like you, we want to ensure everything you worked for goes to the heirs you selected, not to probate fees, nursing home placement, and other various expenses. One way we can make this happen — and accomplish a number of other feats — is by placing your assets in a trust.
We know your family’s situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to estate planning. However, there is likely a trust that meets your needs. We can help you understand your options and create your trust.
Call us at our Glen Burnie office today at 410-590-1900 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.
The Chesapeake Promise
When working with our team, you can expect us to:
Treat you like our own family
Always explain the next steps
Keep you in the loop
Work for your best interests
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