Estate Planning in Maryland

Why Is Estate Planning Important?

We help our clients think about and prepare for the future, so you can focus on your needs and those of your loved ones. We’ll help ensure that you make the decisions about what happens if one of those “what if circumstances” occurs. You can implement strategies that will protect you, your interests and the people you love and care about.

Most people have worked hard for their home, property, and other assets, and they want to see that those assets remain in their hands or in the hands of people they love and care about. Many people have very clear ideas about how those assets should be handled and what ultimately ought to happen to them. Unfortunately, some people never take the time to focus on such issues, yet just about everybody is able to make decisions about their assets when called on to do so. An important part of estate planning involves thinking about and deciding what will happen over time with respect to your assets.

If you’re interested in estate planning and you live in Montgomery County or the surrounding area, contact Hammond and Associates! We are more than happy to walk you through the estate planning process.

Who Will Make Decisions if You Can’t?

Decisions about assets are important to most people, but there is more to estate planning than deciding what to do with various assets. An additional question to consider is who will make decisions in the future if you no longer are able to make decisions for yourself.

Estate Planning Helps When You’re Incapable of Making Decisions Yourself

As unpleasant as it is to think about, all of us ultimately will reach a place where we can no longer make decisions for ourselves. Sometimes this happens sooner than we expect. Serious automobile accidents occur every day as do serious injuries from falls. And of course there are terrible injuries that can occur from medical conditions including heart attacks and strokes. Those of us who are fortunate enough to avoid all of these horrible things eventually will pass away. So one way or another, all of us will get to a point where we can’t make decisions, including decisions about our property.

This is why estate planning plays a crucial role in the future of your assets. Take the time now to plan for the future by contacting Hammond and Associates for assistance in Maryland!

Think About It & Act On It—Estate Planning is Crucial

Most people know who might best carry out their wishes if they’re no longer able to do so. Not surprisingly almost everybody has thoughts about exactly what should be done in certain specific instances. People also have general thoughts about how decisions should be made. During the decision-making stage of the estate planning process, a person can make those determinations or provide guidance concerning how decisions are to be made with respect to financial matters, living arrangements, medical care and other matters.

Although there are many projects in life where DIY planning can save you time and money—legal actions aren’t one of them. Reduce costly mistakes in the estate planning and estate administration (probate) process and hire knowledgeable legal representation. Without proper estate planning and trust litigation experience, it’s easy to make hasty decisions that don’t take all financial and legal matters into consideration.

Call the elder law attorneys at Hammond and Associates today at 301-861-4555 for legal assistance when estate planning in Montgomery County, and the surrounding areas in Maryland!

Estate Planning Decisions You Can Make

(Based on an article by the American Bar Association)

  • Provide for those you love including your spouse or partner, aging parents, young children and disabled loved ones
  • Address potentially difficult and complex issues encountered by blended families
  • Deliver property to intended beneficiaries quickly
  • Provide guidance for making financial and medical decisions in case of physical or mental incapacity
  • Select methods that reduce the cost of transferring assets to beneficiaries
  • Select the people who will make decisions and implement your choices
  • Reduce the strain on loved ones by making some or all of the decisions concerning what will happen with respect to your remains
  • Provide support to an organization or cause that is important to you
  • Consider any opportunities there may be to reduce taxes on your estate
  • Provide support for people you care for who may have special needs
  • Make decisions about business continuity if you own a business

Record Your Estate Planning Decisions in Legally Recognized Ways

As discussed above, first you can make decisions about all of the options available as part of estate planning, but making decisions is not enough. You will have to take the necessary steps to record those decision in legally recognized ways so that when the time comes, what you have decided will actually happen.

If you need help documenting your estate planning decisions in the Bethesda, MD area, contact Hammond and Associates’ estate planning legal team today!

Important Documents for Estate Planning

Many people implement estate planning decisions through the execution of the following documents.

Other Important Documents

In addition to these documents, there are many other things that can be done to implement estate planning decisions including the use of trusts, deeds and other documents that have legally binding effect.

Can I Change My Will and Other Documents?

It is a good idea to review (and consider whether you want to make changes to) your estate planning decisions every few years and when important events like marriage, birth of a child, adoption, divorce or the death of a loved one occur.

Making Adjustments to Your Estate Planning Decisions

For the most part you can change your estate planning decisions by having prepared and executing (signing) a new Last Will and Testament, Durable Financial Power of Attorney and an Advance Directive. But there are important exceptions to this general rule. You will not be able to change these important documents (or other legal documents) if you have lost the mental capacity to do so. In addition to the issue of mental capacity, there are estate planning decision you can make including the use of trusts and deeds. Depending upon exactly what you do (or did), some of these decisions can be changed and others can’t.

Contact Hammond and Associates for Guidance and Assistance Throughout the Estate Planning Process

Estate Planning, like other areas of the law, is complex. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Working with an experienced attorney who handles estate planning matters is important—and that’s where Hammond and Associates comes in. Our elder law team can provide the support and help you need to make and implement estate planning decisions. We would like to have the opportunity to discuss our services with you. We have provided estate planning services throughout Montgomery County, Frederick County, Howard County, Prince George’s County, and the surrounding areas.

Our principal office is located in Bethesda, but for the convenience of our clients, we can arrange for conference rooms for client meetings elsewhere. If you live outside of the Bethesda area and would like to meet with Hammond and Associates, we can set up a meeting in the following locations: Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Fulton, Bowie, Columbia, Frederick, National Harbor, Annapolis, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Towson, and Hunt Valley.

Contact us online or call us at 301-861-4555 and we can discuss how our elder law attorneys can provide assistance with estate planning in the Bethesda area. We want to help you protect your assets and loved ones in Maryland!