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Many people think of estate planning as something only needed by the wealthy. Young people may ignore estate planning because they do not believe they have accumulated enough assets to even have an estate. Contrary to this belief, everybody has an estate regardless of their wealth. Therefore, estate administration planning is important for everybody in Maryland.

The danger in failing to create an estate plan is allowing the state government to create one by default. Potential beneficiaries of those who die without having an estate plan in place will be subject to state laws regarding distribution of an estate's assets. This could result in assets and property being distributed to unintended heirs, while leaving intended beneficiaries out of the picture. Animosity amongst family members during an already emotionally trying time can be the result of this scenario.

A lack of an estate plan can be a serious problem for those who have children or are in a second marriage. One of the most important estate planning documents to have is a will, which leaves instructions on what assets and property will be distributed to specified beneficiaries. Another useful estate planning tool is a trust, which can help in minimizing the tax burden for heirs.

Once a person has decided to begin the estate administration planning process in Maryland, all of one's individual circumstances and details should be thoroughly analyzed. Each case is different and will require specifically tailored estate planning documents. Knowledge of how to apply relevant laws to one's unique situation can result in the most optimal estate plan.

Source: Rushville Republican, Estate Planning: What you need to know, Kate Thurston, Feb. 7, 2014

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