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Estate plan tools could impact need for probate in Maryland

Once individuals decide to start estate planning, they may feel a sense of direction when it comes to getting their affairs in order. Even before creating the legal documents associated with their plans, they may begin sorting through their ideas of what arrangements they would be most comfortable with when it comes to allowing their family to close their estate. When going through such thoughts, Maryland residents may wonder what tools may help create an effective estate plan.

Because each plan is personal to the individual who creates it, choosing the right tools and documents can depend on the desires of that person. One major choice that many parties want to make is whether to allow their estate to go through probate. Because probate is a public affair, some people do not feel entirely comfortable with the idea. However, the legal process can prove beneficial when it comes to ensuring that the contents of a will are followed.

Of course, individuals do have options for avoiding probate if they wish. Utilizing trusts to transfer assets out of the estate could work to bypass the legal process. Additionally, parties could have joint accounts or name beneficiaries to directly obtain assets, and as a result, the probate process would not be necessary for those assets to be distributed.

No matter what documents a person chooses to use, having an estate plan can be immensely beneficial for the individual and his or her family. Maryland residents who are interested in beginning their plans may wish to examine their estate and find out more information on their planning options. Enlisting the assistance of knowledgeable attorneys could help ensure that interested parties understand the various planning methods.

Source:, "Where there's a will there's a way", Christie Bleck, Aug. 31, 2017

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