Some people consider death as something to avoid thinking about, if at all possible. Others think about estate planning ahead of time, but don't think much beyond drawing up a will. Unfortunately, wills are basically lists of instructions on paper that mean little until an estate is taken to probate court. All too often, heirs who do not get along with each other turn the probate process into a knock-down, drag-out fight. A revocable living trust may provide one method for Maryland residents to avoid conflict between contentious heirs.
When many Americans sit down to tackle their estate planning, most cover the bases fairly thoroughly. A will is written, detailing who will receive which of our belongings and how our assets are to be divided. Our wishes for funeral arrangements are laid out, ensuring that our loved ones will not be burdened with making those decisions at a time of grief.
Traditionally, guardianships or conservatorships are considered by Maryland residents in relation to the aging population. These important mechanisms may also be used to manage the assets of a mentally impaired individual or someone who cannot maintain control of their assets. One such example of a guardianship being sought is that of a wealthy philanthropist who has received media attention lately after his disappearance.
Estate planning is like planning for any occasion or emergency situation and requires the right balance of openness, communication, and preparedness. Maryland residents who wish to begin the estate planning process or are in the process already may find that there are a few factors which can darken the waters of the estate administration process. Among the most common factors are taxes, economics and humans. That's right; humans are among the challenges in estate planning.