Estate planning remains an essential responsibility for older individuals with significant assets. However, not all young people realize they could help their relatives and loved ones by taking similar steps. Even middle-aged Maryland residents with limited assets may find value in estate planning because the process could make life easier for survivors after someone’s passing.
Estate planning has no age limitations
Older people may think of their mortality and realize that a will or trust would help their surviving children, but someone in his or her 20s might not write a will due to not seeing the overall picture. A young person may have an IRA, a 401(k), a vehicle and a house. Without a will, Maryland’s intestate laws may come into effect, which could be complicated. A valid will may designate an appropriate executor and spell out who gets what assets.
It’s important to remember that many obligations come into play when someone dies; distributing assets is just one of them. An executor has to file tax returns and handle other commitments. If a young person lived in an apartment or rented a storage facility, the executor would likely need to work with the landlords to remove any property.
As long as someone is of legal age, they can write a will to make plans for their belongings. However, the will must follow state law, or else it is not valid.
Other aspects of estate planning
Another misconception about estate law centers on the belief the process only involves wills and trusts. Estate planning could deal with medical decisions as well. A living will or health care proxy may address medical issues for someone who becomes incapacitated. Unfortunately, tragic accidents could happen to a person of any age.
Young individuals might amass significant assets early in life, and those who don’t understand how to manage their affairs properly may turn to their parents. Assigning power of attorney to a parent could afford them the legal authority to deal with banks, insurance companies, tax offices and others.
An attorney might advise a young person about their various options for estate planning. The attorney may then create the necessary documents that adhere to Maryland statutes.