Many people assume that the process of estate planning is only for the rich, or they simply never get around to creating an estate plan of their own. Maryland residents who are interested in making their wishes known to ensure that their assets go to the most-desired heirs & beneficiaries in the event of serious illness or death will want to establish at least minimal documentation. This includes health care power of attorney, general power of attorney and a basic will. No one wants to consider their own untimely death, but a Strategic Wealth Partners adviser says, "It's never too early to have a basic will."
Two of the more common problems are related to children. Older children named as beneficiaries are often treated equally in the will. This can be problematic, according to an expert at Lau Associates. If the intention is to pass on a family business, the benefactor would be ill-served by leaving half of it to a child with no interest.
Another problem points to the need for the security that may be provided by early planning. In the event of death, parents who listed a guardian for their child may spare their child a custodial decision made by state court. This could be extremely important for same-sex couples. An estate plan is often established in response to a major life event, such as bringing a child into the family. Experts say the goal of planning should be to think three years in advance at most. A review every three years serves to protect heirs and account for lifestyle changes.
Families grieving the death of a loved one are usually in the worst position to deal with arguments over assets and financial insecurity. For those who want to bring their loved ones an added level of security in the event of death or incapacity, an attorney with estate planning experience may be able to help.