For many Americans, the thought of their own mortality is not something that is normally contemplated. While accepting that you will one day die is morbid, it is important you do so for sake of your family and your estate. As an expert in wills and estates, JDKatz has seen it all. One common occurrence our clients run into is the dispersal of property once someone has passed away without a will in place. Last week, we looked into the basics of intestate succession law and how it affects family members. While intestate rules are useful for creating a consistent basis for property dispersal, they are nowhere near perfect. Today, we’ll look at the negatives surrounding this aspect of estate law and how it is best to avoid the problem altogether.
For those seeking an estate planning attorney, we can help! Our estate lawyers give Maryland residents the expertise and representation needed to obtain the best possible outcome.
Common Intestate Issues
One interesting aspect of the state’s process for dividing an inheritance is the rigidity of the rules. Parents who do not leave a will and have a living spouse or parents would be shocked to hear that their children will receive less than half of the estate to share amongst each other. Siblings could potentially be left without a parent or the resources needed to continue living a normal life. Without a will, the numbers transferred to each party are essentially set in stone.
Another particular issue is the lack of rules for how to handle the inheritances that are dispersed by state law. If you left a sizable sum of money to your 18-year-old child with no strings attached, the results can be less than favorable. Whereas you had hoped to leave finances for your kids to be able to live comfortably, the money may go into an expensive car and a short-lived period of enjoyment. Enacting a living trust and will help to avoid this!
The biggest issue we find with intestate succession is the lack of the human element. Maryland citizens who leave behind a great fortune can be upset at the consequences of not writing a will. Residents who are on the opposite end of the financial spectrum can also suffer. An unwanted amount of the inheritance may go to the children without proper supervision, creating an imbalance for the family. Additionally, people who pass away with little property or wealth can leave insufficient funds for their now impoverished spouse or children.
Rules and regulations around unconventional families are also a main point of contention. Many families are formed out of love, without the traditional practice of marriage. In this case, unmarried spouses and stepchildren will be skipped over, where the closest married or biological relatives will receive the inheritance.
The world of trusts and estates can be a tricky field to maneuver. With so many laws and provisions, it’s easy to see why many citizens become frustrated. If you’re in need of help with wills and even the probate process, we can help! JDKatz works to be the best estate lawyers in Maryland through our dedication to reliability and results. If you or a loved one are now considering the benefits of creating a will, feel free to contact us today for assistance!