Share

Maryland's Legacy Planner

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

The short answer is “Everyone, age 18 and older needs an estate plan.” It doesn’t matter if you are old or young, if you have built up considerable wealth or if you are just entering adulthood —you need a written plan to keep you in control and to protect yourself and those you love.

The Key Takeaways

  • Every adult, regardless of age or wealth, needs both a lifetime plan and an after-death estate plan.
  • Planning for incapacity will keep you in control and let your trusted loved ones care for you without court interference - and without the loss of control and expense of a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding.
  • Every adult needs up-to-date health care directives.
  • You need to leave written instructions to make sure you are the one who selects who’s in charge of when and how your assets will be distributed.
  • We all need the counseling and assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.

What is an Estate Plan?

Your estate is comprised of the assets you own—your car, home, bank accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture and personal belongings. No matter how large or how small your estate, you can’t take it with you when you die, and you probably want certain people to have certain things you own.

To make sure that happens, you need to provide written instructions stating who you want to receive your assets and belongings, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it—that is the essence of an estate plan. If you have young children, you will need to name someone to raise them in your place and to manage their inheritance.

A properly prepared estate plan also will have instructions for your care (and the management of your assets) if you become incapacitated, even for a short time, due to illness or injury. Without the proper documents in place, your family will have to ask the court for permission to use your assets to take care of you and to oversee your care. That process is out of your control and it takes time and costs money, making an already difficult situation even more difficult for your family.

What You Need to Know

Don’t try to do this yourself. You need the counseling and assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney who knows the laws in your state and has the expertise to guide you in making difficult decisions. That attorney will also know how to carefully craft the appropriate estate planning documents, so that what you think will happen when you become incapacitated or die actually happens.

If you don’t plan, Maryland statutes provide a “Will” for you. However, you may not like it. One provision is that, if you die with a spouse and a minor child, one-half of your assets are placed in a court-supervised account for your child, not your spouse, and they get it on their 18th birthday. Studies show that the money will likely be spent in one year.

Actions to Consider

  • Call or email our office now to set up an estate planning consultation appointment. We make tough topics manageable to discuss and talk about.
  • Don’t worry about how life will unfold; the best practice is to have your plan prepared now based on your current situation.

 


Archived Posts

2017
2015
2014
2013


Attorney Lindsey Warren Duvall assists clients throughout Anne Arundel County and Prince Georges County, including but not limited to Annapolis, Davidsonville, Gambrills, Crofton, Severna Park, Crownsville, South River, Millersville, Waugh Chapel, Odenton, Piney Orchard, Severn, Upper Marlboro, Bowie, Glenndale, Galesville, Gibson Island, Arundel Mills, Columbia, Edgewater, Deale, Harwood, Lothian, Churchton, Shady Side, Cape St. Claire, Broadneck, Arnold, Jessup, Laurel, Linthicum, Mitchellville, Pasadena, and Lake Shore, MD.



© 2017 Duvall Law Firm, LLC | Disclaimer
166 Defense Highway, Suite 303, Annapolis, MD 21401
| Phone: 410-721-1660

Estate Planning with Wills | Estate Planning | Probate & Estate Administration | Asset Protection | Business Law | Business Succession Planning | Other Services | Links | About Us

Attorney Website Design by
Amicus Creative