Medical articles abound that feature data discussing the known issues and available research with regard to the often devastating cognitive issue known as "dementia." Many of these articles include a list of warning signs, such as inability to remember previous events in life, getting lost while traveling in familiar surroundings or losing track of time and money. In addition to thinking ahead about the possibility of the onset of dementia in one's personal life or that of a loved one, Maryland residents might find it prudent to consider an estate plan as a means of protecting assets before any presentation of symptoms of cognitive demise sets in.
Any Maryland resident can benefit from an estate plan, regardless of income level. In fact, an individual can seek assistance in order to draft an estate plan that is uniquely suited to his or her needs. Estate planning, often involving a last will and testament, will determine what happens to property and possessions after a person passes away, including the family pet. When a pet is an integral part of the family, it may be worthwhile to consider this option.
Most people do not live in complete isolation and have many connections to family and loved ones. This is why it is important to make sure to protect one's assets, which can eventually be passed down to surviving family members, loved ones and friends in the case of one's death, in Maryland or in any other state. A complete estate plan is the best way to ensure that one's assets are protected for the future. However, many times, estate planning is not only about preparing for death, but also preparing for the case of one being incapacitated, which is where assigning a power of attorney comes in.
With the beginning of the new year, many people will be looking to make important changes to their lives. One of the most common goals for the new year will be to update one's estate administration plans in Maryland and elsewhere. It may be a good idea to do it this year, since estate tax exemptions have just changed based upon inflation.