One of the most important decisions you'll make when developing your estate plan is deciding who will be your executor. Generally, people choose their spouse, an adult child or sibling for this position. However, it can be just about anyone you feel will be willing and able to carry out the responsibilities.
Ah, the holidays. That happy time of year when Maryland families gather together to break bread, give thanks, share traditions . . . and discuss what happens when somebody dies?
After a loved one has died, when people find out that they inherited a home, it may seem like a small glimmer of joy during an otherwise difficult time. However, inheriting property comes with complications, and important decisions will need to be made.
One of the key reasons that most people create estate plans is to ensure that their wishes are carried out after they have passed away. For many people, this means dividing their assets among their heirs.
When a loved one dies, it always eases the burden on surviving family members if they know how that person wanted to be celebrated (or not) and how they wanted their body to be handled. It's also helpful if that person set aside enough money for the funeral, burial, cremation, memorial or other events.
When it comes to life insurance, people often name their spouse or a child as the beneficiary. While this makes sense and is wise, who gets the money if the two people both die at the same time?
When you're developing your estate plan, you likely want your children to inherit some of the assets that you've worked so hard to accumulate or that have been passed down to you from previous generations to care for. However, what if you don't believe that one or more of your children, even as adults, will handle a generous inheritance wisely or they're too young for you to know how they'll turn out as adults?
As baby boomers enter their senior years and prepare their wills, they often give great thought to which of their children will inherit their Gorham sterling silver place settings, Royal Doulton dinnerware, Ethan Allen furniture and porcelain statues -- not to mention the jewelry, memorabilia, record albums and heirlooms that you've always assumed you'd pass on to your children.
Many people put off putting an estate plan in place or even a simple will. They figure that they're too young, that they don't have enough assets to bother or that their family will take care of everything if you should pass away "intestate" -- without a will.
Estate planning is important for everyone who wants to ensure that their wishes are carried out after they die or if they become incapacitated. However, if you are the parent or guardian of someone with special needs, it's particularly crucial to make sure that your loved one is taken care of when you're no longer able to do so.