Going through the estate planning process in Maryland is essential to ensure your wishes are completed in association with the distribution of your property. To do so, you’ll need to closely examine all of your property and assets to come up with a plan meeting your goals. Failure to do so can make the process much more challenging for the family you leave behind.
What is a good first step to take when estate planning?
The first step to take when you’re creating an estate plan is to account for everything you own. Listing all of your real estate, bank accounts, stocks and life insurance policies can give you a good idea of where you sit. A second step is to separate the assets you own individually from those you own jointly. Doing so is critical to determine beneficiary designations.
Deciding your beneficiary designations
After creating your inventory of assets, you can decide your beneficiary designations. These are the organizations or individuals you have decided to give your assets to after you have died. Within this process, you can become highly specific on how your assets are distributed. Estate planning also allows you to name the guardian of any children you have if you pass away prematurely. Taking action can help minimize the chance of disagreements within your family and an ugly legal battle.
What happens if you become incapacitated and can’t make your own decisions?
If you become incapacitated and can’t make rational decisions about your assets, it can help to have a power of attorney in place. Choosing an individual to make these essential decisions for you can be completed. Choosing a person you trust is vital for this important position. After going through the steps required for a solid estate plan, you should have peace of mind in knowing your assets will be distributed per your wishes.