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Are excuses worth skipping the estate plan in Maryland?

After a loved one dies, many Maryland residents become concerned about what will happen to that loved one's property and assets. If the deceased created an estate plan, determining the distribution of assets may be relatively simple, which can ease the family's burden. Though estate planning offers many benefits like this, numerous individuals have not taken the time to create even a basic plan.

The reasons for not creating a plan can vary from person to person. Of course, there are some reasons that tend to come up more than others. For instance, some individuals may think that because they do not have many assets to distribute that creating a plan is not necessary. However, even the smallest piece of property could cause conflict for the surviving family.

An estate plan can help plan ahead for long-term care in Maryland

When Maryland residents are young, many of them may not consider how they will be taken care of in their elder years. They may believe that they have plenty of time to address such an issue, but planning ahead could prevent unexpected complications should the need for care come about quickly. Therefore, individuals may wish to use their estate plan to address long-term care costs. 

There is a high likelihood that a person may need a long-term nursing home or other care facility stay in his or her life. Because this type of care can result in substantial expenses, knowing how these costs will be covered may put individuals and their family members more at ease. Of course, parties may want to ensure that they do not put their confidence in the wrong option.

The importance of an estate plan for younger individuals

As a young person, you may not see the importance of an estate plan. To you, it may appear more important once you're in your 40s or 50s, or maybe you feel you don't need one until you have children. The truth is that it's a good idea for any person to have an estate plan as soon as possible.

Without an estate plan, there's no way to know what you want to have done with your assets if you pass away. You also would not have any information on what should happen if you suffer a severe injury or disability that makes it impossible for you to make decisions for yourself.

Having even a basic estate plan may help Maryland residents

Estate planning has many facets that individuals can explore. Depending on the size of the estate and the number of assets involved, some Maryland residents may be able to utilize more minimal planning strategies than other parties. However, no matter the amount of property involved, individuals often benefit from having at least some form of estate plan. 

When individuals consider the basic aspects of a plan, they likely think of a will. This document can provide much of the needed information to allow an estate to move through probate and for the distribution of assets. However, reports indicated that numerous individuals over the age of 50 do not have wills. This issue could easily be resolved as creating a will does not have to prove particularly difficult.

How can joint ownership affect a Maryland estate plan?

Many times in life, individuals may believe that they understand a concept or process only to later find out that their beliefs were incorrect. This issue often arises when parties must deal with legal proceedings or other law-related situations. When creating an estate plan, this confusion could cause Maryland residents and their families to face unnecessary complications. 

One point of confusion some individuals may fall victim to involves joint ownership. Some parties may be under the impression that, if parents allow their children to jointly own property, then the children will automatically obtain the property in the event of the parents' death without the need for probate. However, there are different types of joint ownership, and if the correct form is not used, the assets may still go through probate proceedings. 

Your preferences, your rights: Planning for end-of-life care

Planning for emergencies and serious medical needs can be a frightening prospect for you, but despite how uncomfortable this may make you feel, it can be beneficial for both you and your loved ones. Planning for end-of-life care and outlining your wishes in case of incapacitation can provide a measure of security and peace of mind for your future.

You have the right to ensure that the care you receive meets your preferences. There are certain legal documents that you can draft in order to outline what you want and protect your rights, as well as release your Maryland family from unnecessary stress in difficult situations.

An estate plan can prove useful for young Maryland residents

Many young Maryland residents may believe that they do not need to bother making their end-of-life wishes known. Because they likely believe the ends of their lives are still a ways off, they may not feel pressed to make an estate plan. However, even as a 20-something, estate planning can make a considerable difference in a person's life. 

Once over the age of 18, an individual needs to appoint another person to make decisions in the event that decisions cannot be made on one's own. Of course, many people at or around this age likely consider the idea unnecessary. However, anyone of any age could become incapacitated due to an accident or other event, and if the individual has not created a health care proxy or power of attorney, his or her decisions could be left up to chance. 

Setting up a special needs trust may help Maryland parents

As March is National Developmental Disabilities Month, many Maryland parents may find themselves considering many aspects of their disabled children's lives. Further still, parents may be considering their own lives and what will happen to their children when those lives come to an end. Luckily, individuals can utilize estate planning tools like a special needs trust to create helpful plans for their children's futures. 

A special needs trust can be particularly useful as it allows parents to leave funds and other assets to their special needs children without jeopardizing any government benefits those children may be receiving. As a result, the children can continue to receive much-needed benefits as well as gain funds that can help them take care of other living expenses. Because there are several different trusts of this type, individuals can determine which best suits their needs.

Multiple power of attorney agents may benefit Maryland residents

When estate planning, individuals may come across the need to make decisions regarding incapacitation. Appointing power of attorney agents to make important decisions in the event that they are no longer able to do so themselves is a common action that many Maryland residents consider. Because the role of agent can have many responsibilities, individuals may wish to consider appointing more than one person.

There are many benefits to having more than one financial power of attorney agent. First, it may make the situation less burdensome on the individual and the agents themselves. More than one agent allows for the responsibilities to be spread out rather than all finances having to be handled by one person. Additionally, the agents may be able to work together to ensure that the best decisions are made. 

Info on various trust types may interest Maryland residents

As Maryland residents consider how to approach their estate plans, they may find themselves coming across various planning terms. Though some of the terms may seem familiar, gaining a better understanding of other tools and phrases may prove useful. If parties are hoping to extend their plans beyond a simple will, they may find trust information useful as well. 

First of all, a trust is typically utilized for the distribution of assets. A trustee is a qualified individual who has been appointed to manage the trust. Of course, there are a variety of trusts that may suit particular needs. A revocable living trust is one which is commonly used and holds assets during the individual's life. Upon that person's death, the assets pass into the ownership of the beneficiaries.