One of the most important gifts a person can leave for his or her family is to execute a last will and testament that provides for the security and well-being of those left behind. Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult enough without worrying about the financial ramifications when a provider dies intestate, or without a will.
While those with sizeable estates and assets should create a last will and testament to outline the appropriate division and transfer of the estate, wills and codicils are important for everyone. Any adult of sound mind should consider writing a will to ensure that his or her estate is distributed in accordance with his or her wishes and for the support of those he or she holds dear. An experienced wills lawyer in Maryland will take the time to go over your estate with you and help you create a will that most accurately reflects your wishes for how your estate is divided.
- Terms and Definitions
- Importance of a Last Will and Testament
- Dynamics of Intestacy Laws
- Distribution of Estates
- Obtaining a Will
- Personal Representative Duties
- Practical Suggestions
- Revocation of a Will
- Contesting a Will
- Disadvantages of Dying Without a Will
- Undue Influence
Importance of Creating a Last Will and Testament
A person who dies without a will dies “intestate,” and Maryland, like other states uses a prescribed formula to determine intestate succession. Letting the state determine how your estate is distributed can leave those you love without a means of support.
For example, the state holds no consideration for unmarried partners in distribution of an estate. If you are married, but have no children, your parents and surviving spouse may split the estate according to Maryland’s intestate succession laws. The law treats half-siblings similarly to whole-siblings, and it does not provide for stepchildren in distributing the estate.
Leaving a last will and testament allows you to specifically name the beneficiaries of your estate and the share that each should receive. The state’s intestacy laws have no consideration for your wishes. Only through a written will can your vision for your estate and the support of your beneficiaries be accomplished, and a Maryland wills attorney can help you accomplish that ultimate goal.
Furthermore, if you have minor children, a will allows you to have a say in their upbringing after you are gone. You can nominate a guardian for your children and establish a trust that provides for their education.
How to Make a Will
In order for the state of Maryland to recognize your will, you must be an adult aged 18 or older who is of sound mind and understands his or her assets, and how he or she wishes to leave them. Any person who is trying to make a change to their last will and testament will need to go through the process of revoking their previous will.
However, there are many considerations in making your will, and although there is no law requiring you to use an attorney for your will, it is typically beneficial to have the knowledge and insight of someone familiar with Maryland’s probate and estate laws to help you draft your last will and testament.
A Maryland wills lawyer can help you understand your options in creating a will or trust, and he or she can help you find tax solutions. An attorney’s experience in handling wills and probate can provide you with foresight to help you avoid common mistakes in creating a will. They will be able to help you figure out any important terms that may pop-up during the process of creating a will and be there to answer any other questions you may have. Finally, having a lawyer handle your will can help you create a will that is legally binding and plans for foreseeable complications. To learn more, call today to speak with an attorney about your vision for your estate.
Speak to a Maryland Wills Attorney Today
The process of creating a last will and testament can be a long and complicated one. There are many factors to consider and alterations that need to be made following big life-changing events. While one initial consultation will not shed complete light on the process and how a person’s unique case will proceed, it will offer basic information about what one should know before beginning the process.
There are some issues that may come up in the execution of a will. For example, a person might claim that there was undue influence in the creation of a person’s will. A lawyer can help a person avoid the possibility of such issues down the line by taking measures to ensure the client is truly putting their own wishes down on paper. Call today and schedule a free initial consultation to get a head start on your last will and testament.