Maryland lawyer Harry A. Suissa has over a decade of experience assisting clients with wills and trusts matters, including living wills, durable power of attorney, and personal residence trusts. At the Suissa Law Firm, we understand that concerns related to wills and trusts are a top priority for Maryland residents, and their objectives can vary from establishing a living trust to assisting individuals in contesting a complicated will. No matter how complex the issue, the Suissa Law Firm is prepared to provide you the sound legal advice you need.


Perhaps most important to any Maryland resident’s estate planning is the creation of a will. A will is central to ensuring that your wishes are followed with regard to your assets, as it outlines who will receive your property upon death. A will also allows you to name a personal representative to administer your estate. Without a will, your belongings and estate will be subject to Maryland laws during the probate process and may not be distributed as you would like. Similarly, a will can also be used to appoint a guardian for any minor children you may have. If you do not have a will, the court will be required to appoint a guardian without considering your instructions through the more laborious guardianship process.

In Maryland, the creation of a will is still a very formal process and certain requirements must be met in order for your will to be respected by a court. These include presenting the will in written form and making sure that it is witnessed and exectuted properly. In the case of self proving wills, that it is notarized in the proper manner. Thus, if you already have a will, or are in the process of drafting one, it may be important to check with a Maryland wills and trusts attorney to ensure that all the proper procedures have been followed and the will is valid. A will only becomes final upon death, so it may be changed or added to at any time. This can be done by drafting a new will or by creating a “codicil,” which is an amendment to the original will. In either situation, the same requirements and formalities applied to the original will must be followed in order for the changes to be valid.


In addition to writing a will, Maryland residents may also wish to consider the use of trusts in their estate planning. Unlike a will, a trust does not become effective only at death, but can be established during one’s lifetime. The purpose of a trust is usually to hold assets for you, the “grantor,” or for others you choose (the “beneficiaries”). The trust is then managed by one or more trustees who must ensure that it operates as the grantor has requested. A trust often allows an individual to have more control over how assets and funds are distributed to beneficiaries. For example, money can be allocated for a specific purpose, such as education, or in set monthly disbursements. As with wills, a trust must be properly set up and administered under the laws of Maryland. If improperly created or incorrectly funded, a trust can be more burdensome than helpful to an estate. For this reason, it is important to consult a Maryland attorney experienced in trusts if you are considering creating one.


Maryland estate planning attorney Harry A. Suissa understands that it can be difficult to navigate the many options available for planning your estate in Maryland, which can encompass wills and trusts in all their varied forms. This is why the Suissa Law Firm is dedicated to providing its clients with honest, straightforward, and thoughtful estate planning advice. We can work with you to determine which options may be best, and will guide you through the process of creating the wills and trusts best suited to your needs. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your estate planning issues, call our Silver Spring office at (301) 589-1600. You can also contact us online.

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