Estate planning may not be what you think it is. Everyone has an estate, as surprising as that statement may sound. An estate is not just a piece of land or your house, but rather everything you own: your car, home, checking and savings accounts, personal possessions, and more. By creating an estate plan, you ensure your property is given to your desired beneficiaries upon your death. We know creating an estate plan can be stressful, but we are here to make it as easy and stress-free as possible. When you begin thinking about your estate planning, you should make a list of all your assets. This can be anything from your banking account information to old china plates passed down through generations. If it is important to you, you should include it on your list.
By making a list of your assets, you will quickly realize the size of your estate, and the next step is deciding who will inherit your assets and how they will inherit them. There are many tools available to you to put your desires on paper and make them official. However, by using an estate planning attorney, you have the undivided attention of an experienced professional who can inform you about the advantages and disadvantages of using a will or a trust, the importance of selecting the right people to serve as your personal representative or trustee, as well as all other aspects of the estate planning process. Our goal is to help you understand these concepts, which can sometimes be very confusing.
When creating an estate plan, we also recommend that you create a financial power of attorney and an Advanced Directive for Health Care to appoint agents who can manage your affairs and act on your behalf in the event that you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
At our estates and trusts law firm in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, one of our goals is to make sure that you are knowledgeable about and are comfortable with your estate plan. We want you to understand the probate process, the distribution scheme of your assets, and how your estate plan will impact your children, descendants, and friends.
We also suggest reviewing your estate plan every few years. In addition, when a major life event occurs, your estate plan should be reviewed as well. For instance, the purchase of a major asset, the creation or dissolution of a business, marriage, divorce, and a new child or grandchild may all trigger a review of your estate plan to ensure that it adequately addresses your new situation.
Some may think that they are too young to begin their estate planning. However, we have found that it is never too early to begin. On the contrary, creating an estate plan is the best way to ensure for the care of minor children in the event that a parent dies before the child becomes an adult. At Franke Beckett LLC, we’re here to help and to guide you through the estate planning process.