Many Maryland residents likely do not want their families to worry about their affairs in the event of their deaths. As a result, individuals often create wills and other estate documents that can help plan how certain assets should be distributed. However, if no will is in place, an estate could be subjected to state laws regarding how property should be bequeathed and who may be entitled to an inheritance.
If there are no estate planning documents, an estate will be attended to by the court system, and the state will appoint an estate administration. The estate will also go through a probate process in order to determine how the property should be divided. This process could potentially become long and drawn out due to individuals having the opportunity to come forward as potential heirs in hopes of gaining assets.
If there is a will in place, the probate process will still take place. However, the estate administration will be one that the decedent had already chosen. There is still a chance that disputes could arise, but the terms of the will typically controls who is entitled to inherit.
The estate planning process may seem like a complicated endeavor to some individuals, but taking the time to create a will and make other related plans may prove vastly beneficial. If Maryland residents would like to move forward with their estate plans, they may want to determine which documents could best suit their particular cases. Should individuals wish to seek assistance with such steps, they may want to consider consulting with experienced attorneys.
Source: floridatoday.com, "Planning for Privacy and Ease Estate Settlements", Stephen Lacey, June 13, 2016