They say there are two inevitabilities in life – death and taxes. It is never too early to start planning for either. By taking the time to prepare your estate for after your demise, you can ensure that your family and loved ones are provided for to the best of your abilities. Furthermore, our knowledgeable Ellicott City, MD wills and estates attorney will work to minimize your estate’s tax liabilities.
Thinking about your death is rarely at the forefront of anyone’s mind. However, the reality is that if you fail to take the proper steps to plan, your family and loved ones could be left in a difficult financial position. There is nothing you can do to help their grief, but the attorneys and staff at Rice, Murtha & Psoras can assist you in lessening their financial burden. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
Having an Attorney for Estate Planning in Ellicott City, MD
There are a number of estate planning tools available to residents of Ellicott City. The most common ones are wills, trusts, and revocable trusts. Our experienced Ellicott City attorney will sit with you to thoroughly review your assets, your family situation, and your goals and wishes to help determine what tools best serve your needs. In addition to ensuring your choices protect your wishes upon your death, we will also consider the federal and state tax implications in providing for your family and loved ones. Furthermore, we will work to create an estate package that will also hold up to legal scrutiny and stand up to any potential legal challenges from unsatisfied survivors. Our office understands the importance of protecting the assets and property you worked so hard for and the necessity of protecting your family’s financial security after you have gone.
Drafting a Will
When people think of estate planning, they usually think about a will. A will is a legal document that sets forth a person’s wishes for the distribution of their property after they have died. It also might include specific instructions regarding their burial. In addition to bequeathing property to a person’s heirs, a will could also include provisions for charitable donations or child guardianship. Our Ellicott City attorney will structure your will to reflect your specific circumstances.
When a person dies without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” Maryland has specific laws that determine how a person’s property will be distributed should they die without a will. Often, the intestate laws will not coincide with your wishes or your family’s well-being. For example, if you are not married, your partner would not be entitled to any of your property. In situations where there are no children, your spouse might have to share your estate with a surviving parent. It is essential to have an enforceable will executed to provide for your family and loved ones.
In Maryland, the revocable living trust is a document that places the assets and property of the “grantor” into a separate legal entity. The revocable trust includes specific instructions for the management and distribution of the assets upon the grantor’s death.
One of the main advantages of a revocable trust is the ability to avoid the Maryland probate process. By avoiding probate, a grantor’s property can be quickly and cost-effectively distributed among their heirs. The process is also outside the public record, so the assets bequeathed and the extent of the estate’s property is not public knowledge.
Another benefit is the ability to alter or revoke the trust while the grantor is alive. This provides a mechanism to adapt to changes in circumstances or family status. However, upon the death of the grantor, the revocable trust becomes irrevocable.
An essential provision of a revocable trust is the appointment of a trustee to administer the property according to the terms of the trust. The trustee can also take the managerial role should the grantor become incapacitated. This further protects the estate from being administered by an agent appointed by the state. Our Ellicott City wills and estates attorney can help you determine if a revocable trust is your best option.
Power of Attorney
Another way our Ellicott City wills and estate attorney can help you plan for your future is by drafting a power of attorney. Through a power of attorney, a person will designate a representative, usually a close relative or friend, to act as a decision-maker regarding their financial accounts, personal property, and assets.
Your appointed representative will have the authority to make decisions regarding your personal finances and business affairs. A power of attorney will provide a detailed list of the authority granted to your agent. Our office will draft a power of attorney with language that will reflect the scope of control you wish to delegate should you become incapacitated.
Advance Medical Directive
Part of estate planning includes preparing for possible medical issues or conditions. An advance medical directive details what your wishes are regarding medical decisions if you are unable to make them yourself.
By creating an advance medical directive, you are letting your family and loved ones know what type of treatment you want and what you would absolutely refuse. This will give your loved ones guidance in making decisions for your medical care.
It is important to note that a medical directive only impacts health and treatment decisions. It does not grant any authority over your financial matters.
Call Our Ellicott City, MD Wills and Estates Attorney for a Free Consultation
No one wants to think about their death. However, estate planning is critical to ensure the well-being of your family and loved ones after you have died. Our Ellicott City, MD wills and estates attorney is available to help you navigate the many estate planning tools available. Our Maryland estate planning attorney and staff of Rice, Murtha & Psoras have decades of experience providing professional estate planning representation. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment.