Annapolis Wills Attorney
If you have assets such as property or a retirement account, you likely have thought about what would happen to them after you die. However, many Americans never take the next step to create a will that designates those wishes in writing. A properly drafted will can be a powerful tool for estate planning. If you have considered what will happen to your estate and want to take the next step of drafting a will, it is time to contact an Annapolis wills attorney who has experience in wills and estate planning.
Purpose of a Will
- Name beneficiaries – The primary purpose of a will is to list which individuals will receive assets that belong to a person when he or she dies.
- Name guardians for any minors – Parents with children often list a guardian they wish to care for their children in the event that they both die along with an alternate choice in case the primary person listed is unable to act as guardian.
- Plan for taxes – Wills can help plan for estate taxes, inheritance taxes, or capital gains tax. Trusts are also often established for this purpose. Wills and trust are two separate estate planning tools, but they can be used together to create a more detailed legacy plan.
- Name executor and trustees – An executor is a person who carries out the decedent’s wishes that are listed in the will. A trustee is someone who handles a trust. Both of these positions hold a lot of responsibility and should be chosen with care.
Keeping Your Will Up to Date
According to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, an estimated 23 percent of the wills that do exist are out of date. After a will is initially written, you continue to live your life. You may gain or lose assets, experience changes in your family structure, or simply change your mind about how you wish to disperse your assets.
The Validity of a Will
Wills must go through probate court upon a person’s death. It is within probate court that they determine whether or not a will is valid. According to the Office of the Register of Wills in Maryland, the will must be signed by the person who made the will, testator, and by two credible witnesses in their presence. The testator must be over the age of 18 and must be legally competent at the time of signing the will.
Take Time To Create or Update Your Will
It is unpleasant to consider how quickly a life can end, but the truth is accidents happen daily across America, and should something happen to you, you want to have a will in place so that your family is taken care of. Wills and estate planning are particularly important for those who have been in multiple marriages and have children to look out for. A qualified Annapolis wills attorney can help by advising you on the best ways to handle your assets, how to consider tax implications, what estate planning tools you may need beyond a will, and more. Contact the attorneys at Frame & Frame at 410-255-0373 to schedule a free consultation.