Estate planning ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of a serious illness or death. Regardless of the assets you possess, smart estate planning will put them in the hands of your family after you are gone. Your estate attorney at Mummert Law can help you with wills, trusts, and other estate planning solutions, including a living wills and trusts and will writing near Baltimore.
Smart Estate Planning Tips
It is never too early or too late to ensure your loved ones are cared for after your death. Your estate attorney in Baltimore can help you determine which documents you need and how to maximize their benefit, both today and in the future.
- Communication is key during the estate planning process. It’s important to talk to your family about which assets you’d like to distribute and to whom. You can specify a recipient for any type of property, from your home and your car, to your jewelry and even your baseball card collection.
- It can be very difficult to write a will and file trust documentation without the help of an experienced professional. Working with an estate attorney is the best way to make sure your assets will actually reach your intended beneficiaries.
- Some inheritances may come with estate or income taxes, which must be paid by the recipients. Your attorney can help you find a solution that minimizes the taxes your loved ones will owe on the assets you want to give them. One smart strategy is to gift portions of your estate to your beneficiaries in the present—living gifts under a certain value are considered nontaxable.
Passing Assets outside of the Probate Estate
Not all asset need to go through Will. Strategic planning can have certain assets pass outside the probate estate. For instance, we can use a Life Estate Deed so that you can continue to live in your house for the remainder of your life and then after your death, the asset goes directly to the beneficiary. Mummertlaw also knows how to deed the property so that your beneficiary does not own or is on title until after your death. Mummertlaw also helps to review your life insurance, bank accounts, retirement, and other assets to make sure they go to the person you want. By jointly titling a car or bank account with another person before your death, that asset goes exclusively to that person and no other beneficiaries. If that is what you want, great. But if you expect that person to sell the asset or liquidate it and distribute to their siblings, there is no guarantee that will happen.
Keeping Your Will Current
A will is meant to be a binding legal document that outlines the distribution of your assets following your death. However, a will is not unchangeable—you can choose to change your will at any time, and it is advisable to review your will with your attorney at least once every three to five years. Situations that should prompt you to consider revising your will include marriage or divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, and the death of a named executor or recipient stated in your will. While you can change your will at any time, updates must be formally executed to ensure they are legally binding.
Reviewing your assets regularly
Another Service Mummert Law provides is helping parties review assets. Payable on Death / Beneficiary designations are not always up to date. You may have an ex-spouse still receiving an employer Life Insurance policy. Periodic asset reviews help to protect the distribution of your assets.
Mummert Law can help you ensure your estate and your will are in order with our estate planning and will writing service near Baltimore—please call us today at (410) 766-1100 for professional and supportive legal assistance.