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Understanding Wills & Trusts

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When it comes to estate-planning, Americans are generally unprepared. A 2020 study showed a 25% decrease in end of life planning since 2017 among elder populations. The experienced attorneys at Maginnis Howard create comprehensive wills and trusts for a range of clients. Whatever your estate-planning needs- we can help.

Differences Between Wills & Trusts

A Trust is a legal arrangement through which one person called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” A Trust usually has two types of beneficiaries. The first type receives income from the trust during their lives. The second type of trustee does not collect anything from the beneficiary until his/her death.

A Will covers any property that is only in your name when you die. A Will does not cover property held in joint tenancy or in a Trust. A Trust covers only property that has been transferred to the Trust.

One of the main differences between a Will and a trust is that a Will goes into effect only after you die, while a Trust takes effect as soon as you create it. A Will directs who will receive your property at your death and it appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. A trust can be used to begin distributing property before death, at death, or afterwards.

Both Wills and Trusts are important steps in the estate planning process.

Estate Planning Attorneys

A lawyer should review your situation and create a Will or Trust that is legally enforceable and handles your assets according to your wishes. Individuals who are considering creating a Will or Trust may wish to speak with an estate planning attorney in North Carolina.

If you are seeking an estate planning attorney in North Carolina, you’re in the right place. Maginnis Howard can answer your questions regarding estate planning/Wills and Trusts.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 919-526-0450 to speak with an attorney. You can also email us with any questions at You can also use our contact page to reach our firm.