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People in Maryland may naturally prefer to avoid estate planning, considering it to be a morbid topic. However, creating an estate plan is essential for making sure that one's assets are distributed appropriately upon one's death. A trust is a particularly popular property distribution tool.

A trust can either replace or supplement a will. It is set up to manage the distribution of someone's property through the transfer of the property's obligations and benefits to various people. In order to set up trusts, property owners transfer legal ownership to people or institutions, called trustees, to manage the property for their beneficiaries' benefit. The trustee has to act in the best interest of the beneficiary.

Two different types of trusts can be created. Testamentary trusts transfer property into the trusts only after the grantors -- the property owners -- have died. Meanwhile, living trusts begin during the grantors' lives but can be designed to continue even after their deaths. Living trusts may help avoid the probate process if any assets that are subject to probate end up being transferred into these trusts prior to the asset owners' deaths.

Estate planning, which possibly includes creating a trust, helps individuals make sure that when they die, as much of their valuable property as possible will go to the parties whom they select to get these assets. An individual's estate might feature property such as investments or even real estate. Proper legal guidance may help people in Maryland navigate the estate planning process and successfully create trusts that meet both their needs as well as the needs of their family members.

Source: FindLaw, "Trusts: An Overview", Accessed on Sept. 10, 2015

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