Feb 25, 2013

Quick Guide: Living Will vs. Will vs. Advance Directive vs. Trusts & More

Feb 25, 2013 - Estate Planning by |

Understand Trusts & Wills in Maryland

If you have already begun searching for estate lawyers in Maryland, then you’ve likely come across plenty of terminology and details about wills, trusts and estates. It can all jumble together in a confusing heap when you don’t have a clear understanding of each specific case.

In this quick guide, we’ll provide you with a breakdown of several of the main terms so that you can finally know and appreciate what you’re dealing with.

Will vs. Living Will vs. Advance Directive

Wills in Maryland and elsewhere deal with a principal’s property and finances after his or her death. To be more specific, when dealing with a “will and testament” the will refers to a person’s real property, or property of value, while the testament refers to personal or sentimental property and belongings.

A living will on the other hand is a legal document which deals with a set of actions and circumstances surrounding healthcare decisions when a person is no longer able to make them for themselves, or is otherwise incapacitated. This specifies which types of life-prolonging care and treatment options the principal would like to receive, and which they would not.


So now that you understand wills, living wills and advance directives, what about trusts, and living trusts?

Trusts are legally established relationships which deal with the separation of control and ownership rights for property. They are often seen in the case of minors being named as beneficiaries, whereby the trustee utilizes his or her expertise to exert a fiduciary duty over finances, other assets or property, until the beneficiaries come of age. However, they are used widely in other circumstances as well.

Clearly, there’s a lot to consider, and with so much terminology it can be confusing. If you’re unsure of where to begin, or know you want to take action today, then call the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein at 240.395.1418 for a free consultation.

We’ll be happy to go through the basics and your potential options, and show you how we can help as your new estate planning attorney in Maryland.


The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Read our full disclosure here.