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Estate administration plans include more than tax planning

When most people think of estate planning strategies, they think of minimizing tax liability. However, a good estate administration plan will take into consideration more than just tax issues. There are various other aspects, besides federal taxes, that are important in estate planning in Maryland or in any other state.

One essential part of an estate plan that people commonly overlook is medical care. An estate plan should include a medical power of attorney, which will give a specified individual or entity the power to make medical decisions on a person's behalf in the case of being incapacitated. A person may also want to consider creating a living will as well. Financing unexpected medical costs should also be addressed by having adequate resources or insurance.

Another important estate-planning goal is to avoid future disputes between family members and beneficiaries over the assets of one's estate. Without an adequately detailed plan, it can become confusing as to who should receive what assets. This can result in conflicts between family members, such as adult children or former spouses. Many times, disputes will require litigation in probate court, which can quickly deplete assets left over for intended beneficiaries.

However, even with an effective estate administration strategy, one will still have to ensure that the strategy is implemented correctly. Even minor mistakes in estate-planning documents can result in unwanted legal disputes in Maryland. Therefore, it is important to carefully scrutinize the legal language used in wills, power of attorney documents and other estate-planning instruments.

Source:, "Reviewing Your Estate Plan Essentials", Bob Carlson, Dec. 1, 2014

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