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Estate planning is intimidating to many individuals simply because it is complex. People also naturally prefer not to discuss topics related to death. However, a well-thought-out estate plan in Maryland can prevent strife and quarreling among surviving loved ones as well as ensure that one's assets end up in the right hands in the event of one's death.

In addition to creating an estate plan with proper legal guidance, it is essential to select a secure place to keep the plan's documents. A safe deposit box is a wise place to keep important documents protected. Ideally, one should use a safe deposit box at a bank instead of a safe or strong box at home because even though a home safe is convenient, it is easily accessible to other people who may have no legitimate reason to examine the safe's contents.

Examples of documents that can be included in a bank's safe deposit box are a will, a trust or a power of attorney. A person with a living trust who wants the contents of the safe deposit box to be distributed based on the trust's terms would be wise to title the safe deposit box account to his or her trust. This allows the successor trustee to easily access as well as remove the safe deposit box's contents if the owner becomes disabled or dies.

Not putting together a comprehensive estate plan may mean that one's heirs will not receive the assets one desires for them to have. These assets range from real estate to cars, money and investments. An applied understanding of the law in Maryland may help a person proactively create an estate plan that takes into consideration the best interests of the entire family.

Source: lakeconews.com, "Estate Planning: The safe deposit box", Dennis Fordham, Sept. 11, 2015

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