Revocable Living Trusts in Maryland

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Asset Protection: Shielding Your Estate from Creditors with Revocable Living Trusts

In today’s litigious society, asset protection is a crucial aspect of estate planning. Many Maryland residents seek effective ways to shield their assets from potential creditors without sacrificing control over their estate. One such strategy involves the establishment of a Maryland revocable living trust. This financial tool not only helps manage assets during one’s lifetime but also offers a level of protection upon the grantor’s death.

Understanding Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust is an estate planning instrument that allows individuals (grantors) to place their assets into a trust during their lifetime. In Maryland, this trust remains under the control of the grantor who can alter, amend, or revoke the trust as they see fit. Upon the grantor’s death, the assets are transferred to designated beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust, bypassing the often lengthy and public process of probate. Download all types of legal forms and templates from this website-

Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

  1. Probate Avoidance: One of the most significant benefits of a revocable living trust is the avoidance of probate. Since the assets in the trust are technically no longer in the grantor’s name, they do not form part of the probate estate, thus avoiding the probate process which can be costly and time-consuming.
  2. Privacy: Unlike wills, which become public documents once they enter probate, a revocable living trust offers privacy. The distribution of assets and the details of your estate plan remain private, accessible only to the trustees and beneficiaries.
  3. Control: A revocable living trust allows the grantor to maintain control over their assets while they are alive. Grantors can specify how the assets in the trust should be managed and used during their lifetime, and how they should be distributed after their death.

Asset Protection Capabilities of Revocable Living Trusts

While a revocable living trust provides several benefits, it is important to note that in terms of asset protection from creditors during the grantor’s lifetime, its capabilities are somewhat limited. Since the trust is revocable, creditors can often reach into the trust to satisfy debts since these assets are still considered part of the grantor’s estate.

However, upon the death of the grantor, a revocable living trust becomes irrevocable. This change significantly increases the level of protection against creditors for the assets held within the trust, as they are no longer in the grantor’s direct control. This means that properly structured and funded trusts can shield the beneficiaries’ inheritances from their creditors.

Strategies for Enhancing Asset Protection

  1. Pour-Over Will: A pour-over will can be used alongside your revocable living trust. This type of will ensures that any assets not included in the trust at the time of death are transferred into the trust upon death, where they will then be distributed according to the terms of the trust.
  2. Co-Trustee Arrangements: Appointing a co-trustee can offer additional oversight and management of the trust’s assets, further distancing the grantor’s direct control and potentially offering a strategic layer of protection.
  3. Timely Funding of the Trust: Ensure all intended assets are transferred to your revocable living trust well before any creditor issues arise. Assets not properly titled in the name of the trust may not receive the benefits of trust protection.


For Maryland residents, a revocable living trust offers a flexible and effective estate planning tool, providing not just ease of transfer of assets upon death but also privacy and a degree of creditor protection. Although not foolproof for asset protection during the grantor’s lifetime, the strategic use of a revocable living trust Maryland can significantly secure an estate for future generations. Proper planning and legal advice are crucial to maximizing the benefits of a trust and ensuring that all assets are properly protected and distributed according to the grantor’s wishes.

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