Estate planning is an opportunity to review an individual’s wishes and goals for the management of their assets during their lifetime in the event of the capacity and planning for how those assets are managed after death. One approach is to keep a comprehensive view regarding estate planning to determine what documents need to be drafted or updated for a potential plan.
It is important to develop a plan that protects your hard work and the needs of your beneficiaries. A Bethesda estate planning lawyer can help you create solutions that protect your assets now and in the future. If you are looking to begin planning your estate, you need to work with an experienced trusts and estates lawyer as soon as possible.
- Estate Administration
- Opening An Estate
- Distributing an Estate
- Selecting a Personal Representative
- Order of Priority
- Becoming a Personal Representative
- Role of a Personal Representative
- Estate Taxes
Once someone begins the estate plan process, it can be done in most cases as quickly as six to eight weeks. Clients may need additional time to review some of the important decisions they made. Because the law addressing estate and trust is so specific, it is essential to work with an attorney who is licensed in the State of Maryland.Estate planning is very state specific. It is governed by Maryland law. The estate administration process and planning process are very specific to Maryland law, so it is essential to begin the process with an estate planning attorney in Bethesda who has experience in Maryland estate law.
When to Consider Estate Planning
There is never a bad time to begin estate planning and sooner is better for most individuals. Unfortunately, people delay and do not contact an attorney for estate planning until after a catastrophic incident. At that point, it may be too late for an attorney to assist that person because they may have lost the requisite capacity they need to sign or execute any documents. Thinking of estate planning as an organic process that is meant to grow and change throughout a person’s lifetime can help someone understand what the estate planning process looks like.
They may go through the process a few times as their own needs, desires, and wishes change for different stages of their life. There is no bad time to begin estate planning. Any individual, whether married or single, with a large amount of wealth or still growing their wealth, can benefit from some estate planning.
Estate planning documents are meant to be organic. Often, they are changed or modified throughout an individual’s lifetime as their needs, goals, wishes, assets, situation, and family change. The nature of changes to the document depends on what components an individual incorporated into their estate plan. For example, if an individual wishes to change their will, it may be necessary just to do a codicil for the will. In another case, it may be prudent to completely revise the will and create a new will.
If an individual has a trust, depending on the nature of the trust and whether or not it can be changed, a trust amendment may be created. It depends on the change and the estate plan in place. Both of these factors determine how the plan can be changed. Most often, plans are meant to be organic and be tweaked throughout an individual’s lifetime.
There are many triggers that can make a person re-evaluate their estate plans. These include any significant change in wealth, relocation to a new jurisdiction, a birth or a death in the family, a marriage or divorce, the purchase of new real estate, a change in the estate tax laws or the Maryland laws regarding estate planning or administration.
Beginning an Estate Plan
Having a comprehensive and up-to-date estate plan may eliminate additional administrative costs and family disputes. A comprehensive estate plan also helps to streamline the process so that loved ones can spend time grieving rather than worrying about the paperwork required to complete the estate administration process. It is beneficial to start the process early.
The first step is to set up a meeting with an estate planning attorney. Before the initial meeting, the attorney may send out a questionnaire which is a guide for the potential client to help assist them make the decisions in the initial meeting. It is also a guide for the attorney to tailor that first meeting to that client issues and needs.
Estate planning attorneys in Bethesda enjoy getting to know individuals and their families, and creating long relationships with them so that they can be there to assist them throughout many stages of their lifetime, with their same needs. If they need to ever make any adjustments or are confused where to begin, having a Bethesda estate planning attorney is the best help.