In today’s modern world, it’s important to properly prepare and plan your future and resources to create an optimal outcome for you and your loved ones. Estate planning, for example, is one approach that creates a comprehensive plan for your estate, including bank accounts, life insurance policies, physical property, and more. The process of properly planning and executing a plan for your will and estate can be very complex, navigating the ever-changing field of estate law. One small error may lead to major problems in the future. Trusts and estates that are not properly updated and maintained may go into probate, where the court will decide the best approach for appointing beneficiaries and handling your ownings. If you are concerned about the status of your estate plan, or if you don’t have one, it’s important to find a local team of professionals that can guide you through each step of the process.
JDKatz is proud to be your Bethesda estate planning attorneys, delivering comprehensive support to create the best structure to provide for your family upon your death. Our estate lawyers help Maryland clients with tax law, business structuring, criminal litigation, and more to create or secure new opportunities for those in need. Today, we’ll focus more on what estate planning is by highlighting a few of the basic components to create a well-rounded program for your family.
Drafting a Will
Your last will and testament should provide clear, written instructions on the division of your property and ensure guardianship for your children if something were to happen to you and your significant other. Your will also serves to appoint an Executor, which is an individual that will work to take care of the final distributions of inheritances and debts for your estate. Any last wishes you have should be clearly expressed in your will, as this document will be reviewed for legitimacy and help you to avoid dying intestate, or without a will. The balance between a will and probate shines here, as those who do not have a legitimate will face the consequences of the state deciding how to divide their property and finances.
Deciding on a Living Trust
While a will is a document that becomes active at the time of your death, a revocable trust can provide similar benefits that can also supply a few advantages while you are alive. The key benefit here is that a living trust can help you avoid probate court, which may end up saving your family and estate from a lot of time, money, and stress. One of the key benefits of opting for a living trust is the privacy your family can retain at the time of your death. The probate process includes the instructions of your will, which will be public for everyone to know. A proper trust will serve to streamline the final steps in your estate plan, saving money and time in the process.
Designating a Power of Attorney
Creating designations such as a durable power of attorney for finances can allow you to hand the power to make important decisions for your estate to someone you trust. The reason for planning this in advance is to create a plan of succession for decision-making if you were to become ill, injured, or otherwise unable to soundly make your own decisions. It’s important to appoint an agent for this scenario, and our estate planning attorneys can help you through the process!
Creating Health Care Directives
Similar to establishing power of attorney for an agent for finances is the process of creating directives to oversee the management of your health care should you become incapacitated and unable to make important decisions for yourself. These documents should include a health care declaration in addition to appointing a power of attorney for medical decisions. While nobody likes to think about this occurrence, it’s important to plan for it nonetheless.
When it comes to creating a comprehensive estate plan for the comfort and security of your family, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure that all aspects of your estate are covered. Next time, we’ll continue this blog by highlighting a few more key components that help to constitute a well-rounded estate plan. If you’re looking for quality estate lawyers in Maryland that can help you through each step in this complex process, JDKatz is here to help. Our estate planning attorneys in Bethesda provide a wide range of legal services to create the best outcomes for our clients. Contact us today to learn more about our estate planning services.