There is often confusion surrounding estate planning, and many Maryland adults tend to put it off altogether. The truth is that you can begin estate planning at any age in adulthood, and beginning sooner rather than later can help you ensure your family gets the support and care they need in the event of your death.
Waiting until it’s too late to establish your estate plan can put further stress on your loved ones when it comes time to handle your estate, and without a Will, it is not guaranteed that your assets will be distributed in the way you desire.
It’s important to me as an estate planning attorney to help my clients through this sensitive process and clear up misconceptions they may have to enable them the peace of mind that having a proper estate plan in place provides. Here are some important things you should know about Maryland estate planning:
Estate Planning Allows You to Provide for Your Loved Ones
If you don’t have a solid estate plan in place, it can be difficult for your family to easily obtain access to your assets after your death. By working with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Baltimore or Carroll County, MD, you can establish a plan that ensures your wishes will be carried out as you desire. Your estate plan can include:
Young People Benefit from Estate Planning
Young, single people who don’t have a high level of income or a lot of assets often believe they don’t need an estate plan because they don’t have much to leave, but an estate plan encompasses more than just a Will. For example, did you know that if you are over 18 and in a serious accident, your parent is not automatically permitted to make medical or financial decisions for you?
An estate plan can provide for someone to make medical decisions for you in the case of illness or accident, can name someone to handle your finances and pay your bills if you are incapacitated, and can make the distribution of what you do have much easier on your family if something does happen to you.
Planning Helps Prevent Financial Hardship
Upon your passing, your loved ones may need money to pay your estate bills, such as a mortgage, taxes, repair and maintenance for your house, funeral bills, and final medical bills.
The financial strain of trying to come up with this money while waiting for your estate to settle adds to the emotional toll that your passing takes. A solid estate plan can help you and your family members avoid these and other expenses that could potentially cause financial hardship.
Your Digital Assets Matter, Too
With decades of technological advancements and the ever-increasing popularity of “going digital”, our possessions are no longer limited to physical, tangible items. Chances are you’re already documenting most of life’s biggest and most memorable events via a digital device, like a smartphone or tablet. Preserving these images that are of such significant importance to you and your family is important, and ensuring they end up in the right hands after your death can be taken care of with proper estate planning.