Marylanders: Don't make these mistakes when estate planning

Posted by Angela Holliday Hansen Esq. | Jul 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

When it comes to estate planning no one wants to make any mistakes. After all, most people in Maryland have a good idea of where they want their property to go after they pass away. By avoiding key estate planning errors, residents of Maryland may be able to rest assured that their final wishes will be met.

For example, it is not only wills and trusts that will pass one's assets on after they die. Retirement plans, life insurance accounts and annuities all have designated beneficiaries. Holders of these accounts should make sure to periodically review their beneficiaries and update them if necessary, for example, after a divorce. In addition, it is a good idea to have contingent beneficiaries should something happen to the primary beneficiary. If not, the assets could become part of the residual estate, and be passed on accordingly.

Also, take care when designating an executor or trustee. There have been many instances -- even celebrity instances -- where an executor was incompetent or even took undue advantage of their role, with disastrous outcomes that could negatively affect one's heirs and beneficiaries for years to come. Likewise, take care when designating who will hold power of attorney. Make sure that whoever is designated won't come into conflict with other family members. In addition, one should keep their loved one's informed of what is included in one's estate plan to avoid unwanted surprises.

These are only some considerations that need to be made when crafting an estate plan. Whether it is a will, a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust, estate planning documents need meticulous attention in order to complete properly. There are usually many formalities that must be met to make such documents valid and enforceable. The failure to properly execute an estate planning document may in some cases result in one's property being handled per the creator's state's intestacy laws, which may not be what the creator wanted. In the end, it may be best in some circumstances to let an estate administration professional handle the matter.

About the Author

Angela Holliday Hansen Esq.

Angela Holliday Hansen, Esq., is a former big firm corporate attorney who now practices family law in Rockville Maryland. Ms. Hansen oversees complex estate administration and drafts...

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100 Park Avenue
Suite 106

Rockville, MD 20850
301-690-0383
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 09:00am - 05:00pm

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