Death is an inevitable fact of life. However, when most people in Maryland or in any other state die it is not usually a sudden event, but rather a slow process. Usually people will experience a steady decline in health caused by illness, injury, disability or simply natural aging. In many instances, a person may become no longer capable of making decisions for himself or herself, which could require a durable power of attorney.
People with developmental disabilities oftentimes do not have the capacity to fully take care of themselves. Many times this is due to diminished mental capacities which are so severe that they are not able to function and make decisions for themselves like other adults in Maryland or any other state. This is why one woman has decided to apply for legal guardianship of her two children.
There was much controversy recently as lawmakers were arguing about where the estate tax exemption level should be. However, in the end lawmakers decided the exemption should be at $5.25 million, which means that most people in Maryland and elsewhere will not be subject to the federal estate tax. On the other hand, this does not mean one should stop worrying about creating a proper estate plan. Even those with a modest amount of assets need to have a will.
Estate planning consists of making preparations for distribution of a person's assets after he or she dies. Most people in Maryland look at assets as tangible physical items, such as houses, real estate or even cash money. However, people tend to overlook digital assets when making plans for estate administration. This is a mistake which can have significant consequences for intended beneficiaries.
Life is full of the unexpected. However, this can also be true about death, especially when attempting to make plans for estate administration in Maryland or in any other state. Although it is impossible to tell the future, a good estate plan should consider as many potential scenarios as possible in order to avoid future financial and legal problems. This can make the difference between a smooth transfer of assets to intended beneficiaries and a prolonged litigation process in probate court.
There has been plenty of talk among financial professionals regarding the new changes to the federal estate tax and how it will affect those planning their estates. The new law has set the federal exemption for the estate tax at $5.25 million for individuals and $10.5 million for couples. This has many people in Maryland and elsewhere believing that only the wealthiest people need to worry about planning for estate administration. However, there are a variety of issues which still need to be addressed even if one is not wealthy enough to be affected by the estate tax.
Important paperwork is often most easily completed without time pressure or demands. An open ended schedule allows the person who is preparing it to carefully consider possible ramifications of their choices as they devise the document. A living will and related documents are more necessary than ever in Maryland as technology allows the possibility for prolonged life. For people who engage in dangerous work, it is even more important that they have the necessary paperwork.
When people are estate planning, it is helpful to be informed about details of the laws that protect one's finances. While there is a great deal of good general information available to the public in Maryland, the nuances that affect an individual's personal circumstances may not be readily apparent. For people to protect their money and leave their families as well off as they can be through the process of estate administration, they may want to know more than the basics about how different types of properties are inherited.
At this time of year, many in Maryland and elsewhere consider gifts to give their families. For some, this means a trip to the local mall. For others, it means a review of an estate plan to ensure that it adequately reflects the wishes of the individual. This review includes all documents, including a last will and testament will, trust and other estate planning tools.
Once an estate plan is established, the individual planning may only have the concern of how the plan will be managed in the event of their incapacitation or death. The process of estate administration in Maryland can be challenging, especially in today's world of blended and unconventional families. A recent report indicates that an increasing number of people planning their estate are looking toward the "spiritual" side of things and are planning their estate based more on values.