Maryland LGBTQ Estate Planning Lawyer
As a member of the LGBTQ community, you and your family have unique needs when it comes to planning your estate. For example, if you are the parent to a child who is not biologically related to you, or if you have been in a long-term relationship but are not married to your partner, then passing away without an estate plan can have disastrous consequences for your loved ones.
Protect your family after your death by drafting a will or creating a trust that distributes your assets as you want. Contact a Maryland LGBTQ estate planning lawyer today to get started. A dedicated estate planning lawyer can help you make sure your family is provided for following your death.
Benefits of Estate Planning in Maryland
Estate planning encompasses more than just distributing assets after a person’s death. An effective estate plan may help individuals avoid the probate process, lessen some taxes, decide their end-of-life medical treatment options, and manage assets on behalf of children or people with special needs.
An estate plan usually includes a last will and testament, which distributes the testator’s individually-owned property after death. By creating a will, a testator ensures that any property left over that is not part of a trust, IRA, or any other transferable-on-death account goes to the person that the testator wants.
If a person does not have a will, their assets transfer via the Maryland laws of intestate succession found at Md. Codes, Estates and Trusts §§3-101 et. seq. In general, a person’s spouse, children, parents, and siblings could inherit from their estate depending on who survives.
For instance, if an unmarried person dies without children, their parents will inherit their estate. If a married person dies, their spouse inherits and will share the estate with the decedent’s children. By creating a will, the testator avoids the rules of intestate succession and ensures that their property goes where they want.
Managing Estates with Trusts
In addition to creating a will, many individuals benefit from using trusts in their estate plan. A trust allows a third party, known as a trustee, to manage assets on behalf of an individual who benefits from the trust (the beneficiary). The person who creates the trust is called the grantor. Depending on the type of trust, a person might hold all three roles simultaneously.
A living trust allows a grantor to hold all of their assets, from their real estate to their vehicles to their personal property, in a trust that they manage as trustee during their lifetime. When that person dies, their successor trustee automatically controls any asset in the trust and can transfer that property to the beneficiaries without a probate court’s oversight.
Living trusts have multiple benefits. First, they create a streamlined method for managing all of a decedent’s assets without court interference. Second, any asset that has been funded into the decedent’s trust avoids probate. This can be especially important for individuals that own real estate in multiple jurisdictions. A revocable living trust can assist with lowering administrative expenses and delay after death, and may also serve to minimize any family disputes.
How a Maryland LGBTQ Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
Thinking about your family’s future after your death can be difficult, but it is necessary to protect the ones you love. Without an estate plan to protect themselves, many LGBTQ individuals are at risk of not receiving the inheritance that their partner or parent wants them to have.
Leave the financial legacy you want for your family by contacting a Maryland LGBTQ estate planning lawyer today.