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Important points about wills in Maryland

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2019 | estate planning |

Maryland residents should be aware of the need to have an estate plan, regardless of their age and family situation. Estate Planning documents are vital as they provide a guideline on things such as how the person’s assets will be distributed, who the personal representative will be, whether there is a living will or healthcare proxy, whether trusts and guardianships are needed, and more.

Many think they simply use online documents to create a simple will.  However, online forms will not taylor the plan to a person’s specific estate planning needs, e.g. tax planning strategies to save loved ones unnecessary expenses.

In addition, the basics are ignored and people are not cognizant of when a will is legal and what will happen if there is no will and the person dies intestate. Having legal help to deal with these issues is essential to cover all the bases.

In a valid will, the details of how the testator wants their property distributed will be followed. In addition, the will names the personal representative who will oversee the resolution of the case. The will describes any trusts and indicates who the trustee is. When there are minor children, the will should name a guardian to care for the children.  In Maryland, aa will, it must be in writing, dated and it must be signed in front of two witnesses.

In some cases, a person might have two separate wills. If this happens, the latter one will be effective, provided there is a provision that revokes previous wills. It is still important to bring all wills to the office of the Register of Wills. Some people place what is known as a codicil on a will, which amends the original document.

For those who die without a will, the assets will go to the person’s legal heirs after all administrative costs, taxes and debts are paid. For example, if there was a spouse and children, they will get the remainder of the estate if the person died intestate. Depending on the family circumstances, the estate will go to the next person in line among the legal heirs.

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is a wise decision to ensure that the property, assets, retirement accounts and more go where the person wants them to. A law firm experienced in assisting people with their estate planning needs should be called for a consultation to create a will as soon as possible.

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