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Making excuses may not warrant skipping a Maryland estate plan

If Maryland residents put off estate planning, they may take some comfort in knowing that they are among a large group of people who procrastinate when it comes to such a task. However, that comfort may not stretch far as the lack of an estate plan could have negative impacts on surviving family members. Even if individuals believe they have a valid excuse to skip planning, that reason may not be as solid as they think.

For instance, some parties may think that going through the process of planning could result in unnecessary costs. While it is true that certain fees will likely apply in order to create an effective estate plan, the estate could still suffer financially without a plan. Because estate taxes could be levied and court costs could come about due to probate issues, planning ahead could help avoid more negative financial impacts.

Another excuse some people may use is that their families will fight over the details of the plan. Certainly, some loved ones may not completely agree on an individual's wishes, but most family members want to respect those desires. Plus, without a plan, there may be a higher likelihood of conflict as a loved one's wishes are not known and surviving individuals may choose to look out for themselves.

Though apprehensions may cause some parties to put off creating an estate plan, waiting too long could prove detrimental. Therefore, Maryland residents may wish to take the time to assess their circumstances and determine their best planning options. Speaking with legal counsel could help uncertain individuals better understand estate planning benefits.

Source:, "Haden: Stop Making Estate Planning Excuses", Brent Haden, July 12, 2017

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