In Maryland and across the U.S., it is important for individuals to have an estate plan. An individual’s assets can go to the government, family, friends or charities, and it’s important to have control over this. The estate plan provides such control over individual assets.
It is important to optimize an estate plan so that probate court is avoided and an individual’s heirs can get the most inheritance. To reach these goals, an individual must plan to make regular visits with an advisor to discuss changes in life circumstances, including births and divorces. These meetings should occur at least every two years. It is also a good idea to consider hiring a professional trustee to manage an estate when it is created to prevent the need to hire other professionals later on.
When doing estate planning, it is important for an individual to understand the tax implications associated with different types of plans. This can be done by discussing the benefits of an irrevocable trust vs. revocable trust with an estate planner and choosing the best fit for individual needs. It is also a good idea to discuss with an estate planner if lifetime gifting is the best option based on individual situations.
Estate law is complicated, and an experienced estate planner might make all the difference. Proper estate planning could allow for correct distribution of assets to family members, income for family members, disposition of a business, avoidance of probate court, lowering of tax burdens for heirs, children’s guardianship, asset management when disabled or away, appointment of a health care agent to make life support decisions, and peace of mind.