Germantown, MD Wills and Estates Attorney

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When planning your estate and will, it is wise to seek assistance from experienced attorneys capable of giving you the help you need when making the decisions estate planning entails.

Executing a will is one of the most important things you can do in your life to ensure the welfare of your assets, property, and beneficiaries after your death. When starting out with estate planning, you should review your assets and decide what will be listed in your will and what will be placed in a trust. Then, designate your personal representative. This is the person who will be the executor of your estate. They should be someone you know well and trust, like your spouse or parent. Next, designate assets for beneficiaries. We will then write your will and get it signed by two competent witnesses. Finally, you should register it with the Montgomery County Register of Wills Office. Regularly, we can review your will and plans for your estate and make changes as necessary.

To have our Germantown, MD wills and estates attorneys review your case for free, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras now at (410) 694-7291.

How to Plan Your Will and Estate in Germantown, MD

Planning out how your estate will function after your death and how your assets will be distributed among your loved ones is an important decision. Our wills and estates attorneys can help you draft a plan for the future so that you do not have to worry about issues down the road.

Reviewing Property and Assets

We will begin planning your estate by reviewing your assets and the details of your financial situation. It is important to be transparent with our lawyers at this time so that we can carefully consider all property you own. At this point, it will be important to distinguish the property you wish to place in a trust versus the property you wish to include in your will. Property in trusts does not go through probate in Germantown. If you create a trust to hold some property, be sure to retitle it as necessary. Certain assets, like some insurance policies or jointly owned property, cannot be passed through a will in Maryland.

Designating Personal Representatives

Once our lawyers have become familiar with your property, income, and other financial information, we can help you pick a personal representative. This individual will handle matters related to your will and estate after your death in Germantown. Because being in charge of someone else’s estate is a big responsibility, it is important to choose a personal representative that you trust and believe is capable of handling the job. Most often, people pick someone close to them, like a spouse, child, parent, close friend, or other relative. While it is up to you how much information you will share with your personal representative about your will before your death, you should have a conversation with them to gauge their ability to take on this role and to get their agreement. If you have minor children, you can appoint a guardian for them in your will as well at this time.

Identifying Beneficiaries

Designating the individuals who will benefit from your estate is crucial when preparing a will. Maryland’s intestacy laws will dictate how your property is distributed if you do not choose beneficiaries. If you have children, you can make things simple and divide up your assets evenly among them. If you are unmarried and without children, you can leave property to other family members or close friends. Because it is your will, you can name anyone as a beneficiary, including charities and organizations. While you can update your will as necessary by executing a codicil, you should put considerable thought into who your beneficiaries will be and what assets they will acquire when initially drafting your will and planning your estate in Germantown.

Writing and Signing a Will

After the planning process is complete, we can help you officially write your will. Writing wills without legal help is often unwise, as the language used in wills must be very specific. Once your will is properly written and typed up, you will sign it. According to Md. Code, Ests & Trs. Art., § 4-102(b)(3), you must get two competent adult witnesses to sign your will in your presence. You will not have to get your will notarized in Germantown.

Registering Wills

Proper storing of wills is important. These documents contain the plans for testators’ estates, and without them, the probate court will make decisions about asset distribution. Because of that, you should file your completed will with the Register of Wills Office in your area. You can contact the Montgomery County Register of Wills Office to file your will for safekeeping. If you do not register your will during your lifetime, your personal representative must do so before submitting it for probate. In addition to registering your will, you can keep a copy of it at home, with our lawyers, or with your personal representative.

Regularly Reviewing Wills and Estates

Estate planning is a fluid process. Even if you wrote and completed a will years ago, there might be new tactics our lawyers can employ to help your estate and beneficiaries after your death. Regularly reviewing your will is part of the estate planning process. Consult with our lawyers about your current will every few years or so. If your financial situation has changed, for example, if you recently purchased a new home, it may be prudent to update your will. Other reasons for will changes include marriages, divorces, deaths, and births. If you wish to change your will after reviewing it, we can do so by executing a codicil. Any other attempts to change your last will and testament will not be seen as valid in Germantown.

Call Our Germantown, MD Lawyers to Start Planning Your Estate Today

To have our wills and estates attorneys assess your case for free, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.