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Many Maryland residents take proactive steps to ensure that their estate plans stay up to date. However, some individuals may think that updating a will is the equivalent of updating all related documents, and that notion is simply not the case. Though updating a will to reflect desired changes is important, if individuals also want changes made to beneficiaries, those may need to be addressed separately.

Because a will does not address all estate assets, individuals may be surprised to learn that some information may remain unchanged although a new draft of a will has been executed. For instance, certain assets, such as IRAs, pensions, life insurance payouts and other similar accounts, will pass on to the designated beneficiaries of those accounts. Therefore, if an individual does not update the beneficiary and trust documents along with the will, issues could arise.

Of course, there are certain accounts and assets that may be addressed in a will. Bank accounts, vehicles, real estate and other assets that are individually titled may pass through a will. As a result, the allocation of these items will be updated if changes to a will are made. Nonetheless, periodically checking all estate planning documents could prove useful.

If Maryland residents would like to learn more about which assets may be covered by a will and which assets may not, they may want to consider discussing their specific situations with experienced estate planning attorneys. By gaining personalized insight, individuals may be able to determine which documents and plans may work best for their circumstances. Additionally, they may be able to find out more on keeping their plans as current as possible.

Source: Forbes, "A Will Does Not Allocate All Of Your Estate Assets", Michael Helveston, May 6, 2016

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