It’s common to hear attorneys and others refer to trusts, but you may not know exactly what they are or why they are needed. A trust is similar to an entity, such as a corporation or an LLC, in that a trust has a separate identity from either the person that formed it or the people it is intended to benefit. The trust may own property in its own name and may even have a separate tax ID for its dealings with the IRS.
Continue reading “What is a Trust? The Basics of Forming a Maryland Trust”
Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s financial affairs are concluded and their assets are transferred to their legatees (if through a will) or heirs (if without a will). Because many people pass away with minimal probate assets, the State of Maryland provides a less burdensome process by which assets can be transferred for such estates.
When the value of a decedent’s property subject to Maryland probate is less than $50,000 (or less than $100,000 when a surviving spouse will be the sole legatee or heir), the estate under is allowed to be considered a “small estate” and use a simplified set of probate rules.
Continue reading “Probate in Maryland – Small Estates Versus Regular Estates”
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, or ILIT, should be of interest to any person buying life insurance. The ILIT is not just for people with estate tax issues. The ILIT can allow you to control how and when insurance proceeds are distributed to beneficiaries. Rather than going straight to the beneficiary, the insurance company pays the proceeds into a trust that then pays the amounts to the beneficiary as quickly or as slowly as you decide. Such a trust can be particularly beneficial when the potential beneficiary is younger, may have potential marital issues, or has difficultly managing money. Continue reading “Forming An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)”
Many wonder what happens if you die without a Will. Each state, including Maryland, has its own laws that determine what happens to the person’s estate. The differences between each state’s laws do cause confusion, and your assumptions about Maryland’s laws may be incorrect and can cause incredibly negative problems.
When someone dies without a Will, the rules governing the estate are called “intestate laws”. When intestate laws apply, the deceased person may be referred to as having “died intestate” and having left an “intestate estate”. Your state’s intestate laws serve essentially as your Will if your family cannot provide an actual Will. Maryland’s intestate laws are often not what most people expect. Continue reading “Not Having a Will in Maryland”
Please see my new page, Maryland Estate Planning. The page is a summary for those seeking basic advice regarding Maryland estate planning. This summary covers the most frequently asked questions and stresses my belief that most, if not all, people should consider some estate planning. I welcome any suggestions for additional content.
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