banner-image

Disadvantages of Dying Without a Will in Bethesda

A last will and testament is a written agreement that an individual makes to express their wishes for the disposition of assets upon their death. Writing a will may seem like a morbid and somewhat overwhelming thing to do, but in actuality is proactive. People believe that only the elderly should write wills but anyone who has assets is capable of writing a will and leaving those assets behind. Just as there are many advantages to writing a will, there are disadvantages to dying without a will in Bethesda. By not leaving a will behind, it is harder to ensure that your assets are protected and distributed to the proper people.  A qualified wills lawyer  can guide you through the will writing process, and ensure that your will is executed properly.

When to Begin Estate Planning

There is never a bad time to begin estate planning. Any individual over the age of 18 would benefit from the creation of a last will and testament. A last will and testament allows for people to express how to pass on their assets and estate gift. However, it also names who the person would like to nominate to serve as personal representative of their estate.

A common misconception among individuals is that they are too young or they do not have enough assets to begin the estate planning process. The reality is that often when an individual dies without a last will and testament, it exposes their estate to a potential increase in estate taxes, to fighting or disputes, and to some administrative headaches without a clear path as to the best personal representative to handle the person’s affairs. These are just some of the disadvantages of dying without a will in Bethesda.

Consequences of a Lack of Estate Planning

Of the disadvantages of dying without a will in Bethesda, there are two that are particularly significant. If a person dies without a last will and testament, the laws would dictate how the estate assets would be distributed as well as who would serve as the personal representative of the deceased. Often, those laws do not reflect what the wishes of the individual may have been. The second disadvantage is that there is little flexibility with how the estate can be administered after someone passes away.

How to Begin Planning

In order to leave things in order, the first step is to contact a trust and estate attorney who can assist with drafting a last will and testament and can advise an individual on how to properly execute the document. Law offices often send out a questionnaire that will begin to collect information from clients, so they can begin to think about some of the decisions that they will have to make throughout the estate planning process. It can also bring to light issues that a person may not see as issues yet but could arise, or issues that may emerge after their death, so that their documents can be tailored accordingly.

How a Local Lawyer Can Be of Assistance

Generally, attorneys are familiar with the estates and trust field, especially specific to Maryland law. They can advise you on how to execute the document. They can also advise you on the practicality of you documents, specifically what might be practical wishes versus impractical wishes. Often, because estates and trust attorneys have the experience of administrating wills after someone passes away, they can help clients prior to death to make decisions to avoid disputes or issues, such as liquidity or increased exposure to estate taxes. Moreover, an experienced attorney will be well equipped to provide peace of mind regarding the logistics of how everything will be handled upon a person’s passing.