Estate Planning Attorney in Maryland
Estate planning is the process of carefully defining your goals and creating legal instructions that ensure your goals are met. More specifically, an estate plan consists of various legal documents that dictate the distribution of your assets upon your death, as well as important decisions regarding your personal care, should you become unable to speak for yourself. This requires an estate planning attorney that is able to work with you now to ensure your instructions are clearly defined and can be carried out to your precise specifications.
In short, a good estate planning enables you to dictate to whom your assets will be distributed and how, while at the same time reducing taxes, court costs, miscellaneous expenses and attorney’s fees as much as possible.
At a minimum, every estate plan should include a Will or Living Trust, a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Agent Appointment, a HIPAA Release, and a Living Will (sometimes called an Advanced Directive).
A Will takes effect upon your death. It has no legal effect while you are alive. A Will does the following things:
- It dictates to whom your assets will be distributed and how.
- It designates who will settle your affairs and conduct the probate of your estate.
- It identifies your choice of a guardian of any minor or disabled children.
Without a Will, each state has laws that dictate to whom your assets will pass when you die. Such laws are called laws of intestate. Without a Will, your estate may be distributed to unintended and unfavored people.
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