Eventually, you along with most citizens of Maryland will have to take part in the estate planning process. While the process of ensuring that your assets go to the right heirs is in no way pleasant, it’s something all responsible estate holders should complete. If not, what happens to your estate may be the complete opposite of your wishes.
Why people put off estate planning
Unfortunately, some people put off estate planning until its too late. No one knows when they will die. Even completely healthy and happy people may meet their fate too soon due to chance or the actions of other people. Individuals should always be prepared if they want to protect their estate and their loved ones. Typical excuses that may be used to put off estate planning include:
- Thinking they are too young for it
- Believing they do not have enough assets
- Feeling like their children or heirs already know their wishes
- Being uncomfortable thinking about death
The harm that comes from lack of estate planning
While items in the list above may be understandable, you should begin the process of estate planning without delay, especially if you have amassed assets and heirs. This should include the drafting of vital documents like a last will and testament, a living will and power of attorney. It may even include setting up a trust. Taking these measures can help you and your heirs avoid some very serious problems.
Without these documents, one problem your heirs will encounter is the probate process. Without your legally signed documents outlining your will for where your assets should go, this process may be left up to how a judge decides to interpret statutes and legal precedence regarding intestate succession. In those cases, who inherits your assets may be the exact opposite of the wishes you want fulfilled. Your heirs can even suffer as a result if they do not end up with the assets they would have needed to continue to maintain their quality of life.
Even without heirs, you should still want to exhibit control over what happens to your assets. You may want to designate them to charities or friends, and this is how the estate planning process can help.