Estate planning is something that—understandably– most people do not like to think about; no one likes to contemplate their death. But while it may be an uncomfortable subject to address, planning for the care of your family and your assets once you are no longer there yourself is essential. Some older people may assume that it’s too late to begin estate planning at their age, but as an experienced estate planning attorney in Carroll County, DK Rus wants to correct that assumption.
At What Age Can You Make a Will?
Maryland law states that any person who is 18 years of age and is legally competent may make a will, but although most adults are able to plan their estate, most choose to put it off. We all expect to live long and full lives, but the unexpected can happen at any age and limit or eliminate our ability to make decisions, care for loved ones and manage our assets. That’s why it’s essential to have a suitable estate plan in place, whether you are 18 or 108.
Get Started Early
It’s never too early or too late to begin estate planning. Whether you’re the primary income earner in your household, or a recent college graduate, there are good reasons to consider what will happen to your family and possessions once you’re gone.
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. The best way to develop a suitable estate plan is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Reduce Estate Taxes
By making a complete estate plan, you may be able to reduce the possibility of your estate being subject to Maryland and federal estate taxes, inheritance taxes, and probate costs. For example, through just some basic planning techniques, married couples may be able to double their estate tax exemptions by setting up certain Trusts.
There are also advanced planning techniques that can be used for both married couples and individuals to avoid probate costs and protect your estate from creditors, but these techniques are best implemented by experienced estate planning attorneys.
Work With a Professional Carroll County Estate Planning Attorney
DK Rus has been providing Carroll and Baltimore County residents with estate planning services for many years. The business of estate planning can be sensitive, confusing, and emotional, but it’s an essential preparation that adults, both young and old, need to make. If you need help developing a will or have additional questions about getting started with estate planning, contact us today.