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When to revise your Maryland estate plan

For many in Maryland, addressing estate planning is a task that ranks close to having one's teeth drilled in terms of enjoyment and anticipation. While most residents recognize the need to create an effective estate plan, virtually no one relishes the process of actually doing so. Once the task has been checked off the to-do-list, many walk away with a sense of satisfaction at having addressed the issue, and let the resulting documents rest in a safe place, often never to be revisited again.

In reality, however, estate planning is more of a process than a one-time task. In life, things change over time, and the results can mean that one's existing estate plan should be revised. An obvious example is the birth of a child, or perhaps the loss of a loved one who played a prominent role in the estate plan. Other changes include marriage or divorce, which can drastically alter the method for which one wants his or her assets divided in the event of their death.

Another issue that can necessitate a revision involves who is named as executor of one's estate. As time passes, it may become clear that a different person could better fulfill this role. It is important to keep in mind that the executor of one's estate will hold a great deal of power when the time comes, and should be someone with whom one has a good relationship.

This information is shared in the hopes that those in Maryland who have not thought about their estate plan in many years will dust off those documents and check to see if revisions may be necessary. It may be of comfort to know that revising an existing estate plan is a far less daunting task than beginning the process anew. In addition, the end result is a plan that serves one's current wishes and intentions, which is well worth the effort.

Source: financial-planning.com, Estate Plan Revise? 5 Key Questions, Tracy Craig, Jan. 27, 2014

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