The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A.
Frederick
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301-694-6262
Hagerstown
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301-293-0010

Frederick Estate Planning Blog

Do I really need an estate plan?

When the rich and famous die without leaving an estate plan, it may seem unthinkable. In recent years, you may have heard numerous stories about celebrities who died with millions in assets but no will, leaving their loved ones the frustration of a prolonged and sometimes contentious probate.

If you are neither rich nor famous, you may feel there is no good reason for you to make an estate plan. This is a common misconception. Anyone who has any assets can provide security and guidance for their loved ones through appropriate estate planning. Without such a plan, your legacy may include family disputes and damaged relationships.

Choosing an executor may be good estate planning starting point

Getting your affairs in order at any point in your life can prove difficult, so when it comes to getting your final affairs and end-of-life wishes down on paper, you may feel immensely intimidated. However, you should not let this feeling deter you from actually moving forward with the estate planning process because not planning could have much more impactful negative repercussions.

If you do not know where to start when it comes to considering the many decisions ahead of you, you may want to consider an important but straightforward question: who do you want to act as your executor? The executor manages the tasks associated with closing the estate, which means that this person will have many responsibilities to address.

Do you have reason to update your estate plan?

When a major life change occurs, you may feel a mixture of excitement and apprehension. These changes can come in many forms, and what you may consider a significant change may not be considered such by someone else. Nonetheless, if you feel that an event in your life could have important impacts, you may need to address that event in certain ways.

If you have already created an estate plan, you have taken a beneficial step in preparing for your future. However, not updating that plan could cause issues, especially if you have experienced a life change. Though some changes may not warrant an update to your estate plan, you may still want to review your plan periodically and determine whether your current views are still reflected in the terms previously created.

Location and age could impact guardianship choices

Children fill life with excitement, joy and sometimes drama. Though certain situations may drive you crazy, you undoubtedly want to be there for every minute of it. Unfortunately, we never know what the future holds, and a serious accident, illness or other situation could take you from your children too soon. 

In the event that you can no longer care for your children, you certainly want someone you trust to provide for them. By creating guardianship appointments and stipulations as part of your will and estate plan, you can ensure that a responsible party will take over the care of your children. However, choosing the right guardian may have its difficulties.

Protect yourself from power of attorney abuse

There are many decisions to be made when making an estate plan, and many Maryland residents may find it difficult or stressful. Naming a power of attorney can be especially stressful for some. However, giving a person this responsibility, and instructions of when they are able to exercise the powers that come with it, could help to protect the estate planner and his or her property.

Does everyone need a will?

Many people living in Maryland have misconceptions about when they need to have wills written. They often believe that a will is not needed until they have acquired some level of wealth. However, there are more reasons to have a will than many people may realize.

Avoidable estate administration mistakes

For many Maryland residents, being named as the executor of a loved one's will can be a daunting task. There are many things that the chosen executor is responsible for that he or she may be unaware of or not understand how to complete. As a result, there are many recurring mistakes in estate administration.

Benefits of consulting with an estate administration professional

The death of a family member can be a sad and stressful time for Maryland residents. Several things must be considered at one time, including funeral arrangements and estate administration. The estate executors are expected to carry out the terms of the will and settle any outstanding debts with the available assets. Family members or loved ones are often appointed as executors, but they may be more likely to make mistakes while carrying out their responsibilities because they are unfamiliar with the process. Hiring a professional or having the appointed executor consult one may help to prevent some of these mistakes from being made.

Gaining guardianship of a parent with Alzheimer's disease

When your parent gets a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, you may both be shocked, saddened and frightened of the future. After the initial shock has worn off, you may be able to sit down with your parent to talk about what you will be able to do for him or her when he or she can no longer make logical decisions regarding things like health care, finances or even personal hygiene.

Should a living will be part of your estate plan?

It is never easy to plan for the future, especially when it pertains to your own health care and potential medical problems you could face as you move through life. However, having a good, thoughtful estate plan in place can eliminate some of the stress regarding these sensitive matters.

Every Maryland family could benefit from having an estate plan. This makes certain issues easier for your family in case of incapacitation, but it also provides you peace of mind knowing that you get to decide what happens to your assets and to determine what kind of health care you want. As part of your complete estate plan, you may find it beneficial to consider the benefits of a living will.

  • Best Of The Best The Frederick News Post
  • Bar Association Of Frederick County, Maryland
  • NAELA National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
  • Maryland State Bar Association Inc.
  • Washington County Bar Association , DC Bar
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