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Estate planning is critical for ensuring that one's assets will end up in the right hands after one dies. A trust is one tool commonly used as part of a comprehensive estate plan. The following few tips may help people to take full advantage of a trust in Maryland.

Trusts have many purposes. For instance, a trust is a receptacle for holding assets. A trust can also be used to protect people's inheritances against taxes, bad marriages, spendthrifts and creditors. These areas are, in fact, the most common areas of focus for people engaging in estate planning.

One point to keep in mind is, instead of focusing on protecting the value of assets from compromise, the focus should perhaps be more on enhancing the lives of the beneficiaries. When choosing an administrator for a trust, it is important to convey one's wishes not only for the assets themselves but also for how one hopes to see the inheritance benefit his or her loved ones. By ensuring that one's wishes for the future are fully understood, a trust becomes even more valuable.

Estate planning, including the development of a trust and the appointment of trustees, is often considered a morbid task, and it is often not a huge priority in people's busy lives. However, if people fail to create estate plans, their assets may end up not going to their intended beneficiaries and may be subjected to unnecessary tax. With proper legal guidance, people in Maryland can efficiently control what happens to their assets when they die.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Where Trusts Succeed or Fail", Hartley Goldstone, Oct. 20, 2015

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