The trusts and estates lawyers at our firm enjoy helping clients meet their estate planning goals. They enjoy building relationships with clients and their families. Being involved in clients’ lives and helping them to plan for their future is a unique experience. Our Maryland estate planning practice care deeply about each client they represent. Getting to learn more about their clients’ lives and families helps our firm provide an in-depth and personalized estate plan for each client.
How an Maryland Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help
An attorney can assist by speaking with a client to figure out what the life or law change has been, reviewing the documents to make sure that they are up-to-date from a legal and tax perspective, and then advising the client about what changes should be made to bring the documents up-to-date or to state the client’s wishes.
Keeping Up With Major Life Changes
When creating your estate, it is important to remember that certain things can impact how you plan your estate. Generally, if a client has experienced a major life event they will want to speak with their Maryland estate planning attorney and make changes.
Marriages and Divorces
For example, someone has recently married and now needs to address a spouse in their will and powers of attorney, and coordinate beneficiary designations to reflect a new spouse.
Another examples would be a client has recently divorced or separated from his or her spouse and it becomes necessary to speak with your Maryland estate planning lawyer about removing your ex-spouse from your will.
In addition, if a client has purchased property, it is pertinent to take into consideration whether the property is within the state, whether it is in a different state, whether the property is going to be used as a residence, or if it is going to be rented. These considerations will all impact your estate because of certain taxing; a Maryland estate planning attorney can help clarify why and how.
Births and Deaths
A child is born whom you want included in your document so that you make provisions for them regarding guardianship or setting up trusts while they are in their minority.
There has been a death in the family and that person should be removed as a beneficiary or removed as a fiduciary. The death in the family has resulted in an increase in wealth from the inheritance of the deceased person. There is a change in the laws affecting the estate plan. The estate-tax laws have been changing somewhat in the last few years, and these changes could affect an overall estate plan.
A significant increase or decrease in your overall net worth which would result in more aggressive, estate-tax planning or perhaps reevaluating some of the existing plan to ensure there is enough liquidity to pay any estate taxes or expenses of the estate. Hiring an estate planning attorney in Maryland means that you’ll have someone working on your side, making sure that your interests and that of your loved ones are protected after your death.
Duration of Maryland Estate Planning
Estate planning is generally not completed in one sitting. It takes several meetings and some correspondence and communications regarding the drafting period to complete the estate planning process. At its most efficient, it can be done in two meetings depending on the complexity of the estate plan created. The first meeting is used to discuss the client’s goals, nature of the assets, family dynamics, and options for estate planning. After the initial meeting, usually a client and the Maryland estate planning attorney will go back and forth either by phone or e-mail to discuss the drafts. Once the drafts are finalized, the client will come back for a second meeting to execute the documents.
Following Up With Your Maryland Estate Planning Lawyer
Generally, clients are responsible for reviewing their documents frequently to ensure that they are current and still best express the wishes for the disposition of their assets at their death. A number of key events should trigger folks to review their documents sooner. That would include if the client has experienced a major life event such as a marriage, divorce, purchase of real estate, a move out of state, birth of a child, death of a family member, or a significant increase or decrease in overall net worth. A client should also contact their estate planning attorney in Maryland in the event that there has been a significant change in the law. Generally, my advice to clients is to review their document every few years and check back in with their attorney to make sure that it is still relevant and best expresses their wishes.