Answering Common Questions About Estate Planning

Estate planning involves so much more than just drafting and executing your Last Will and Testament. An estate planning attorney near Baltimore can guide you through each aspect that applies to your situation. He or she can also offer legal guidance regarding minimizing tax obligations to maximize the assets bequeathed to your beneficiaries. Before you consult an estate planning attorney, you may wish to write out a list of any questions you may have.

Do Wills Have Limitations?
There are certain actions that a Will cannot accomplish. It cannot transfer non-probate property. This includes jointly owned cars, jointly owned bank accounts, bank accounts with payable of death designation, life insurance, annuities, retirement benefits, and trusts. For example, if you own a home jointly with your spouse as tenants by the entireties or partner or family member as joint tenants, the full ownership of the home will pass to that person upon your death. Estate Planning Attorney in Baltimore If you have an IRA that is payable to a designated beneficiary, this beneficiary will receive the account, rather than a different individual specified by your will. If you would like to change your designated beneficiaries, you can do so directly on those documents, rather than with your Will. And if you write in your Will that you want that beneficiary to split the proceeds of the IRA, Bank Account, or Life Insurance policy, there is no legal requirement he/she will split that asset with any other person.

What Should I Know About Life Insurance?
When you discuss estate planning with an attorney in Glen Burnie, be sure to inform him or her of any life insurance policies you may have. You have two basic options for your life insurance policies. You can designate one or more beneficiaries, or you can make your life insurance benefits payable to a trust or probate estate. Making these benefits payable to a trust can protect these assets from creditors. You should seek the advice of an attorney to determine the proper way to designate the trust as beneficiary. If the benefits are payable to your estate, the funds will be distributed in accordance with your will and will increase probate fees and personal representative commissions.

What Is a Healthcare Proxy?
A healthcare proxy is often referred to as an Advance Medical Directive. You can designate a person to have the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. This person can only make these decisions if you are incapacitated and cannot express your own preferences. These decisions may be necessary not just life ending situations, but also in routine medical situations including surgery. Before you designate a healthcare proxy, you should consult that individual to ensure that he or she feels capable of executing your wishes.

Categories: Estate Planning