For people with families, having a will and designating beneficiaries and medical and financial power of attorneys is important, especially as they get older. A will allows individuals in Maryland and other states to allot certain family members and friends all or certain portions of their money and property upon their deaths. Having powers of attorney lets them designate someone they trust to handle their finances or medical decisions if they become mentally or physically unable to make the decisions themselves.
Naming beneficiaries allows those with insurance policies and retirement benefits to leave this money specifically to those individuals after they die. Medical powers of attorney can decide on access to medical records, procedures, life support and the type of long- or short-term medical facility used. Financial powers of attorney often handle different assets and accounts for someone who cannot handle their own affairs. If people do not designate beneficiaries or powers of attorney, courts often make the decisions. Courts most often designate certain family members, such as spouses, children or parents, to be powers of attorney or beneficiaries.
Different insurance companies and retirement account providers often provide paperwork for the designation of beneficiaries, which people often have to fill out when they sign up for these benefits or plans. To name someone as a power of attorney requires filling out a state's power of paperwork and having it notarized.
Through estate administration, people may be able to ensure that their medical and legal issues are handled properly and that their assets are designated in such a way that family members would have a difficult time disputing their wishes. A lawyer with estate planning experience may be able to help clients to develop a will and to fill out the necessary legal documents for beneficiaries and powers of attorney.