Estate planning can seem like a daunting task, which is why our experienced Maryland estate planning attorneys have compiled this short checklist regarding important estate planning documents. Please continue reading and reach out to our firm if you have any additional questions or would like to get started. Some of the most important estate planning documents are as follows:
Wills are among the most important estate planning documents, and for many, they are the cornerstone of their estate plan. When you create a will, you essentially outline what you want to happen with your assets when you pass away. You will appoint an executor and establish beneficiaries. Your executor will be in charge of ensuring your assets are distributed according to your will, and your beneficiaries are the individuals who will receive those assets. When someone dies without a will, it is called dying “intestate,” which can set your family up for serious legal issues down the road. Do not let this happen.
There are a wide variety of trusts available to individuals in Maryland, including irrevocable trusts, revocable trusts, special needs trusts, testamentary trusts, and more. Though the purpose of each of these trusts varies, the primary goal of trusts, in general, is to help beneficiaries maximize their inheritance move through the probate process as quickly as possible.
Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney are critical documents that essentially allow someone to appoint a trusted individual to make certain key life decisions on their behalf, should they ever become incapacitated. For example, you can create a financial power of attorney to help ensure that a loved one can make critical financial decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to do so on your own. Similarly, you should create a healthcare power of attorney, which essentially allows you to appoint a trusted individual to make critical medical decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to do so on your own.
All parents of minor children should strongly consider creating guardianships. Essentially, a guardianship will allow you to appoint someone you trust who will raise your child, should you and your spouse be unable to. Nobody wants to think about such a situation, but it is best to be prepared for the worst. Without appointing a guardian, the courts will decide who gets to raise your child in this situation.
Contact our experienced Montgomery County, Maryland firm
The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.