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Do I Need a Will?

Sanders & Sanders, Attorneys at Law May 1, 2024

Tthe importance of preparing an estate plan cannot be overstated. The whole process may seem like an overwhelming task, especially for those who prefer not to think about the end of life.  

So having an estate plan is important—but is a will essential? It may not be required. And it certainly isn't your only option for building a comprehensive estate plan; but it's a great option to begin with.

Wills are not just for the elderly or the wealthy; this is a common misconception. They're a powerful tool for anyone interested in protecting their legacy and ensuring their wishes are honored after they're gone. Without such a document, the state’s intestacy laws will determine how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your personal wishes.  

For Maryland residents looking to safeguard the future of their assets and loved ones, our legal family at Sanders & Sanders, Attorneys at Law is here to help. We're dedicated to offering knowledgeable and empathetic legal guidance in Upper Marlboro and throughout Clinton, Bowie, Fort Washington, Largo, and Washington D.C., Maryland. Contact us today to get your estate planning questions addressed with a lawyer.

The Importance of a Will: For You  

A will in Maryland serves as the foundation of a solid estate plan, allowing you to direct the distribution of your assets, appoint a guardian for minor children, choose an executor for your estate, and potentially minimize estate taxes. It's your voice when you are no longer here to express your wishes, providing clarity and direction during a difficult time for your loved ones. 

Maryland's estate planning laws offer specific benefits for residents who take the proactive step of creating a will: 

  1. Clarity of Intent: A well-drafted will clearly states your intentions for asset distribution, minimizing the risk of disputes among heirs. 

  1. Guardianship Selection: For parents with minor children or individuals caring for adults with special needs, a will is an indispensable tool for appointing guardians, ensuring that your dependents are cared for by the person you trust most. 

  1. Estate Tax Management: Maryland has its own estate tax, in addition to the federal estate tax. Strategic estate planning can help reduce the tax burden on your heirs. 

  1. Probate Process Simplification: Though Maryland's probate process is relatively streamlined, having a will further simplifies the procedure, potentially saving time and money. 

Despite these benefits, a surprisingly large number of Maryland residents have not yet taken the necessary steps to draft a will. Sanders & Sanders, Attorneys at Law aims to change this by demystifying estate planning and making it accessible and understandable to everyone, regardless of age or wealth status. 

Who Should Consider Estate Planning? 

While the common misconception is that only the elderly or wealthy need to worry about estate planning, in Maryland, just as anywhere else, everyone can benefit from having a will. Our services are particularly valuable for: 

  • Young Professionals: Starting early ensures that your assets, which will likely increase over time, are protected and directed according to your wishes. 

  • Families: Protect your children’s future and ensure that your estate is managed according to your values and desires. 

  • Property Owners: Real estate is often subject to complex laws during inheritance proceedings. A clear will is imperative to avoid complications. 

If you're uncertain about your need for a will or estate plan, allow us to provide clarity. Sanders & Sanders, Attorneys at Law can help assess your situation during a complimentary consultation and guide you through the nuances of Maryland's estate planning laws.  

The Benefits of a Will: For Your Family  

The importance of drafting a will extends far beyond the simple distribution of your assets. It's a critical tool that ensures your legacy is preserved and your final wishes are realized in the manner you envision. The benefits of having a well-structured will in place include: 

  • Avoidance of Probate Conflicts: A will helps to reduce the likelihood of disputes among family members by clearly defining how you want your estate divided. 

  • Protection of Minor Children: Naming a guardian in your will is the only way to ensure your children are cared for by the individuals you trust, should something happen to you. 

  • Expedited Probate Process: With a will, the probate process can be much more straightforward and less time-consuming, allowing your beneficiaries quicker access to assets. 

  • Reduction of Estate Taxes: Proper estate planning, including a will, can help minimize the tax burden on your estate, leaving more for your beneficiaries. 

  • Flexibility and Control Over Assets: A will allows you to have complete control over the distribution of your assets, including specific gifts to individuals or charities. 

  • Peace of Mind: Perhaps most importantly, a will provides peace of mind for both you and your loved ones, knowing that your affairs are in order according to your wishes. 

Creating a will is a powerful step in managing your estate. It allows individuals to maintain control over their financial and personal matters, ensuring that their legacy is passed on in accordance with their desires. At Sanders & Sanders, Attorneys at Law, we understand the profound impact of this legal document, and we are dedicated to providing comprehensive guidance to ensure that your will reflects your values and wishes accurately. 

More Estate Planning Options

In addition to creating a will, our team can also assist with other estate planning options, such as setting up trusts or establishing powers of attorney. These additional measures can provide further protection for your assets and loved ones in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Partner With Experience Guidance 

Creating a will is an act of care for your loved ones and a critical component of estate planning in Maryland. With the experienced attorneys at Sanders & Sanders, Attorneys at Law, you can help ensure that your will complies with state laws and truly reflects your wishes and goals.

We invite you to reach out and schedule your initial consultation, taking that all-important step toward securing your legacy and the well-being of those you love most.