Estate planning may be a challenging topic for many families, but especially those with parents who may be facing the loss of their competence. The children of these individuals may fear for what will happen upon their loved one's death and dread the estate administration process if last wishes are not secured.
Maryland residents who grew up in the northeast may remember a wealthy businessman popularly known as "Hi Ho" D'Addario. Tragically, he was killed at age 63 in a small plane crash in March 1986. Despite having a will that sought to distribute his estate among his wife and five children, his estate remains open before the local probate court. The estate, valued at approximately $162 million, has been contested for more than 25 years after his death, which is highly unusual compared to estate administration for most other probate cases.
Estate planning falls solidly into the category of things that we all know we should do, but usually put off. Sitting down and making decisions about the structure of our will, the distribution of our assets, and deciding who to trust to carry out these wishes is not the stuff of a heady Saturday night. However, like most things that are vaguely unpleasant, planning for estate administration is a necessity for Maryland residents.
Agricultural homesteads in Maryland may find better protection from high estate taxes, according to a new law. The Family Farm Preservation Act was signed in by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley in an effort to preserve the future of farming in the state and reduce death taxes on smaller farms for the families left to run the operation. Estate administration has been a challenge for the families of deceased farm owners, and the new law aims to help significantly reduce the tax burden.