For Maryland residents who have spent some time building assets and acquiring a home, the thought that family members may have to sell such property in order to pay final expenses may be frightening. Even if one's estate valuation isn't large enough to be subject to the federal government's $5.25 million estate tax, medical expenses, funeral costs and probate fees can sometimes add up to a large sum of money. However, there are strategies that may be useful to those fearing this situation.
The first step a person can take is to build up assets that have more liquidity. Stocks, bonds, savings accounts or other assets that will be easily accessible at the time of death could allow a family to pay for final expenses without selling off assets. Another option is to buy enough life insurance to cover final expenses. This is a good option because life insurance doesn't have to be included in an estate if the fear of being pushed into estate tax territory is present.
Another option is to craft a strong estate plan that makes it clear how assets should be sold off in the need arises. In addition, it may be wise to have a conversation with heirs about what is important to them. While such a conversation may be uncomfortable, it can help clear up what is important to heirs so that future debates do not arise.
Those who are worried about what happens to their estate could have strong plan that foresees future issues are handled correctly. An attorney may be able to help create an estate plan that accounts for the worries a person may have about his or her estate.