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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.

Your estate plan may need more than just a will

Many people consider a will the most important document in an estate plan. However, a variety of other documents could also prove useful to you, depending on your specific circumstances, especially since a will cannot cover every aspect of your estate. Nonetheless, you will also likely benefit from creating a will in order to ensure that you fully complete your estate plans.

Preparing may help Maryland residents with estate plan decisions

Planning for future issues and scenarios may prove difficult for many Maryland residents. However, having an estate plan is often beneficial, and even if individuals are uncertain about their decisions, those choices can be changed and updated later on. Therefore, parties may wish to create some form of plan in order to avoid possible problems that could arise if a will is not created. 

If individuals are intimidated by potentially creating a will, there are a few steps to consider. First, they can inventory all of their assets and list parties who may be considered beneficiaries. By having a better idea of what may need to be included in the estate documents, parties may feel more confident as they focus on creating a plan. 

Will disputes may add complications to Maryland probate

The documents that make up an estate plan are vital to how end-of-life wishes are carried out. However, some surviving individuals may disagree with certain documents or details of a plan. In many situations involving such disagreements, a will dispute could arise that results in the need for litigation to resolve outstanding conflicts relating to the estate. 

Maryland residents may be interested in such a dispute currently underway in another state. Reports stated that the widow of a man who died last year and his surviving mother are locked in conflict over the man's will. Just days before his death, the man drew up a new will which effectively disinherited his mother. The mother believes that the widow manipulated the man into changing his will. 

Which type of trust may suit Maryland estates?

The various estate planning tools available to Maryland residents may have individuals wondering what documents could best suit their needs. Some parties may be interested in creating trusts to address certain needs of their estates. While deciding to utilize such a tool is a good first step, individuals may then need to determine which type of trust could be best for their circumstances. 

One type of trust is a revocable living trust, which can protect an estate from probate proceedings as well as allow individuals to make changes to the trust during their lifetimes. This document may also help prevent conflicts from arising over inheritances as well as keep information out of the public record. Another type of trust is a Medicaid asset protection trust. This tool allows assets placed into the trust to avoid probate and also keep them from being used to cover nursing home expenses. 

Fernandez estate administration may be complicated by lawsuits

When a young family member dies, there is a chance that the surviving family may face complications. Of course, emotional distress and other expressions of grief are understandable, but in addition to those hardships, difficulties relating to the estate could arise if the decedent did not create a will or other estate planning documents. In such cases, the estate administration may take considerable time and consideration.

Maryland residents may be interested in learning about the estate of Jose Fernandez, the 24-year-old Marlins pitcher who died last year in a boating accident. Because Fernandez died without a will, his mother has recently filed with the court in hopes of obtaining control of the estate in order to carry out its administration. Though many individuals expected the estate of the late professional athlete to be quite extensive, it was estimated at about $3 million. 

Probate does not have to intimidate Maryland residents

Many Maryland residents may make avoiding certain legal proceedings the goal of their estate plans. However, probate does not necessarily have to be looked upon as a negative process. In fact, some individuals may be able to go through a simpler planning process if they do not have the desire to avoid such proceedings. 

Whether or not an individual created a will, his or her estate will likely go to probate court. However, it may prove more beneficial and easier for individuals to go ahead with creating a will as it gives them the opportunity to name their own executors. Rather than having the court appoint a person to be in charge of the estate administration, the named executor handles the necessary duties to settle an estate. 

4 reasons to contest a will

If your loved one left behind a last will and testament, that document will likely act as the touchstone for the handling of the deceased's estate. This document likely discloses instructions on the distribution of assets, guardians for minor children and other pertinent information. However, you may find yourself wondering about the validity of the will, and if strong reasons exist for this concern, you may wish to consider contesting the document.