Though it may be uncomfortable to think about what happens after we’re gone, knowing that your family is taken care of is essential. Thorough estate planning is going to prove key in that peace of mind. If you’re looking for a Westminster, MD Estate Planning Lawyer, then look no further than Albers & Associates. We can help you with all of the various aspects of estate planning to ensure that your legacy is secured.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of figuring out what you want to do with your assets and property after you die or can no longer make decisions about them. It’s a rather simple concept, but you would be surprised how many people forgo their estate plan, thinking that they can “do it later”. Craft a solid estate plan before there is no later.
We can help with all aspects of estate planning including:
- Living Trusts
- Power of Attorney
- Probate Court
- Health-Care Proxy
- Advance Directives
Work with a Westminster, MD Estate Planning Lawyer on Your Will
Putting together a solid will is all about knowing who you can trust. As you think about who will receive your assets and property, you will also need to appoint an executor. The executor of your will should be someone that you can trust to carry out your wishes and to shepherd your assets through probate court.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process that proves that your will is a legitimate document and then handles your debts appropriately. Part of your executor’s job will be to compile a list of your debts, assets, and properties to bring before the court. The judge will then determine the will’s legitimacy and use your asset to pay any final debts.
The assets and property left after debts are paid will be divided up among the people you have appointed to receive it. However, they won’t be able to inherit anything from you until the probate process is over. Something to keep in mind is that the probate process can often take a lot of time. Legal fees can sometimes take a bite out of the overall inheritance depending on how long the proceedings go on for. For some people, this can make a living trust a far better option for their situation.
What is a Living Trust?
A living trust is a document that, much like a will, spells out exactly what you want to happen to your assets and other inheritance elements in the event that you are no longer fit to oversee them. There are a few major differences between a will and a trust, but the biggest is that living trusts allow you to bypass the dreaded probate court. Upon your death or upon the loss of your capacity to manage your affairs, your appointed trustee will be able to award your assets to the appointed heirs relatively quickly.
Not only that, but if you choose to utilize an irrevocable living trust, all assets and properties within the trust will be exempt from estate taxes. However, an irrevocable living trust requires you to relinquish your assets permanently into the trust, which is not necessarily appropriate for all cases. If you’re not sure whether you should put together a will or a trust, contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in Westminster, Maryland for more information.
Attorney Albers Can Help You Plan for the Future
Whether you’re looking to draft a will or you’re interested in learning more about trusts, Albers & Associates can help you make the right decision for your estate. Contact us today for more information on how we can serve you or to set up a free consultation.