Will Drafting Attorney in Bethesda, Maryland
One of the most important things an individual can do for themselves is to create a comprehensive estate plan. No matter a person’s financial situation, it is important for them to take measures to protect their assets after they are gone. An important component of every estate plan is the creation of a will. This legal document functions to allow an individual to dictate how they would like their estate to be handled after they pass. Of course, it can be an emotional thing to think about but it is truly quite important. Also important is the attorney you choose when it comes time to create your will. The legal team at JD Katz has this skills needed to provide you with effective and compassionate support throughout the creation of your estate plan. If you need an experienced Maryland estate planning attorney, contact JD Katz today to schedule a consultation. We are prepared to handle all estates and know how important this step is to preserve your assets.
Why do I need a will?
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. At JDKatz, we believe in planning ahead to avoid crises rather than waiting for them to happen and then responding to them. By taking this approach, we are able to bring our clients true security and peace of mind. Many people are understandably hesitant about drafting a will. However, instead of this process causing anxiety about the future, it should really bring an individual the peace of mind they deserve. The creation of a valid will is the only way to ensure that a person’s assets are distributed to their liking and that they won’t fall into the wrong hands.
What if I die intestate?
If an individual fails to create a valid will in Maryland, their assets may be distributed according to the state’s schedule of intestate succession, depending on whom the individual is survived by. The schedule is as follows:
- If survived by a spouse and minor children, the spouse receives one half of the estate and the children share the other half of the estate. So, if the decedent had two minor children, each will get 25 percent.
- If survived by a spouse and all adult children, the spouse receives $40,000 and one half of the remaining estate. The adult children will split the rest of what is left.
- If survived only by children, they will split the entire estate accordingly. This does not include step-children.
- If survived by a spouse and the decedent’s parents, the spouse will receive $40,000 and fifty percent of the remaining estate. The parents will split the amount remaining unless only one parent is surviving.
- If only a spouse survives, they receive the whole estate.
- If only parents survive, they will receive the whole estate.
The schedule also lists information about siblings, grandparents, and step-children. If the decedent had no surviving heirs or step-children, the net estate is given to the Maryland Board of Education. However, if the decedent received long-term care benefits as part of Maryland’s Medical Assistance Program at the time that they passed away, the entire estate is paid to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
What makes a will valid?
When creating a will, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the document is valid in the eyes of the state of Maryland. The state requires that a valid will is written, signed by two witnesses in front of the testator and that it is also signed by the testator. In addition, the testator has to be 18 years of age or older and legally competent at the time in which they sign the document.
Contact Our Firm
If you do not have an estate plan, it is essential that you put one in place before it is too late. If your current estate plan is out of date or was drafted in another state, it may require updating. In either case, you can rely on our experienced estate law professionals. Contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at JD Katz today.