As the adage goes, there’s nothing certain in life but death and taxes. While both are inevitable, one can prepare for taxes by paying them yearly or quarterly, and they can set up an estate plan to protect the family after death. However, up to 65% of people in the U.S. don’t have a will. The most common reasons for failing to plan an estate include:
Not knowing where to begin
Not knowing how to start
Being young and having “enough time” to think of it later
Having a small estate
Thinking someone else will take care of it
A local attorney can help with various estate planning tasks. Whether a client needs advice on asset division or disinheritance, an estate planning attorney in Bel Air, MD, can help them avoid the mistakes listed here.
Not Planning at All
When it’s time to distribute one’s assets, there are laws to follow. Not planning can mean losing a significant part of the estate to those who no longer deserve it, or to the state. If a person wants to make sure their family is protected, they should visit this website to find out how an estate planning attorney in Bel Air, MD, can help them distribute their assets in compliance with state law.
Signing a Joint Ownership Agreement
In joint ownership, the listed individual has legal control over an asset. This can tie up assets if a joint owner has an agenda of their own. Additionally, if a child is made a joint owner and siblings are heirs, asset distribution may be uneven. Finally, a co-owner has the right to make business decisions on jointly held assets.
Not Updating the Plan
Forgetting about an estate plan is troublesome because the estate may end up going to someone unintended, such as an ex-spouse. This can cause substantial legal issues for family members, for instance, a new spouse and children from second marriages. The purpose of estate planning is to simplify asset distribution, but it only works if the plan is updated to reflect the client’s wishes.
The estate planning attorney Michael S. Birch, attorney at law, handles cases related to trusts, estate planning, wills, and probate. By effectively planning an estate, regardless of its size, one can ensure that their assets go to the desired heirs after one’s passing.