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Estate plans that are well thought out can help people in Maryland protect their assets in the event of their deaths. This is because an estate plan can effectively transfer people's estates after death to their chosen beneficiaries through wills or trusts. A few tips may help an individual in Maryland create an estate plan that will protect his or her best interests and preserve family relationships.

Individuals with children may wish to consider plans that do not pay outright but instead provide guidance on how the kids should spend their inheritances. For instance, the inheritance may be spent for retirement or college. Without this type of guidance, most inheritances end up being spent in 18 months' time.

For nonprofit organizations, it may be worthwhile to set up a charitable fund and allow this fund to continue for generations. In many such cases, parents can keep the family together when the kids grow older and decide to move. The kids may still able to stay in contact with one another when they meet each year for the purpose of distributing funds to charity.

It is also important to avoid unintentionally disinheriting a spouse or kids. Trusts or wills that offer 100 percent outright usually do not achieve what one intends to accomplish in the situation of a second marriage, as there might be competing goals between making sure that the kids get an inheritance and supporting one's spouse. Proper legal guidance may help an individual in Maryland put together an estate plan that meets his or her unique goals long term and that preserves family relationships and values.

Source: statesmanjournal.com, "Fill-in-the-blank estate planning is playing with fire", Maria C. Schmidlkofer, Oct. 2, 2015

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