It is never too early for Maryland residents to begin planning for who will receive their assets upon their passing. In fact, considering estate administration before reaching the age of 40 is crucial, regardless of the level of wealth. The process is particularly important for individuals who are in same sex partnerships as without a will, assets may end up going to next of kin, instead of one's life partner.
Before beginning the estate planning process, it is important that individuals have a "what if" conversation with their partners and with other family members. By doing so, individuals can establish exactly what they want and possibly eliminate squabbling following their passing. Laying out wishes while one is still alive will allow others to see the rationale behind decisions. The discussion should encompass all basic estate components, including a will, a living will, life insurance and durable power of attorney. The latter document is particularly important for those in same-sex relationships as some hospitals will not allow life partners to make decisions unless a legal document exists.
Consulting a certified financial adviser is an educational step that individuals can take prior to drafting estate documents with attorneys. By doing so, individuals can then efficiently use their time when consulting with estate attorneys. Taking this step can be crucial for individuals under 40 or for those whose resources are limited.
Knowledgeable estate planning attorneys in Maryland may be able to explain the meaning and importance of matters such as probate, tax responsibilities, estate administrators and trustees. Estate planning lawyers may also be able to give clients advice on what legal instruments will best fit their situation regarding same-sex partnerships.