Salisbury Estate Planning Attorney
Helping Our Clients Build Better Futures for Their Families
People often imagine an estate plan in terms of a will that determines who gets what after you pass. This can be true for smaller, simpler estates. However, it can be a missed opportunity to not take advantage of other estate planning documents that look after your long-term care, tax planning measures, and more.
At Hearne & Bailey, we can help you achieve what you need with your estate plan. Even if you don’t know where to start, we can guide you through the process so you will know all of options available. Your input informs our advice, which means that we’ll carefully listen to what you want to accomplish and respond with options and services that can support your goals.
If you are currently dealing with matters concerning what a loved one left behind, we offer representation to help executors through the estate administration process. We can also provide estate litigation services if you need to initiate or respond to legal action concerning a loved one’s estate.
Don’t Pass Without a Plan
Dying without an estate plan, even a simple will, can be problematic for your family members and other loved ones during the probate process. The administration of your estate can also be a time-consuming and costly experience for those you leave behind. Such an experience can add to the heartache and grief they may already be feeling.
Without a will, your estate will be deemed intestate, and laws governing such estates will determine who your legal heirs are and what their inheritance will be in probate court.
Maryland intestacy law lays out the following priorities for intestate inheritance:
- Decedents with children but no spouse will pass all assets to their children's
- Decedents with a spouse but no living parents or children will pass all assets to their spouse
- Decedents with a spouse and minor children will pass half of the estate to their spouse and the rest to their children
- Decedents with a spouse and only adult children will pass the first $40,000 of their assets, plus half of the rest, to their spouse, the rest going to the adult children
- Decedents with living parents but no spouse or children will pass their assets to their parents
- Decedents with living siblings but no spouse, children, or living parents will pass their assets to their siblings
Needless to say, this is not an ideal scenario if you have any wealth or property you wish to pass on to specific relatives or friends.
How We Can Help You Create an Estate Plan
A comprehensive estate plan prepared by our experienced estate planning lawyers in Salisbury can help you account for the details of how you want the artifacts of your life to be divided.
We can help you build or amend your estate plan with legal documents such as:
- A will, naming a personal representative for your estate
- Medical and durable powers of attorney
- Revocable Living Trust
- Advanced directives for medical care
- Long-term care plans
- Retirement planning
- Life insurance
Key Considerations for Building Your Estate Plan
Several key considerations every estate plan should account for include:
- What happens to your assets after you retire
- How you will afford a nursing home or long term health care
- The end-of-life medical care you want
- Who will inherit different parts of your estate
- Who will obtain guardianship of your minor children
- Who you will entrust your surviving pets to
- Any donations of your wealth to charity
Without answers to some of these vital questions, your estate may become subject to litigation after your passing. A thorough estate plan can ensure your wishes are fully known.
Estate Tax Planning Considerations
In planning an estate, some people do not consider potential tax complications to the estate. Without proper planning, state and federal taxes can take away significant assets from your estate. Your loved ones may inherit far less than you intend.
Most successful estate planning strategies include means of minimizing your estate’s exposure to income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes. Reducing your estate’s tax liability means your loved ones can benefit from as much of your wealth as possible when you pass on.
Our estate planning attorneys in Salisbury can explain the potential impacts certain state and federal estate taxes may have on your estate. We can then advise you of your options for mitigating these circumstances.
When you hire an estate planning attorney at Hearne & Bailey, P.A., we can help you build an estate plan of any size or level of complexity. Our representation means you will get a personalized approach where we’ll invest time in finding out what’s important to you and providing options that can meet your goals.
When you’re ready to discover everything we can do for you, reach out to us online and request a consultation.