Annapolis Estate Planning Attorney
Let a Qualified Estate Planning Lawyer Help You Plan for Your Future
Nobody likes to think about death or what’s going to happen to their belongings when they pass, but it’s an important consideration regardless of your age or health status. An estate planning attorney can help you address those difficult topics in a simple and cost-effective manner. The Law Offices of John Umholtz provides personalized estate planning services to clients in the Annapolis and Baltimore areas.
There is a variety of estate planning documents and vehicles that allow you to accomplish different goals. What you put in your plan should depend on your unique goals and circumstances. A good estate planning lawyer will assess your situation and help you create a complete estate plan that addresses all your needs.
Such an estate plan may include the following tools:
We can help you arrange everything you need to secure the future for your loved ones.
Schedule a free initial consultation call The Law Offices of John Umholtz at (410) 469-7704 to get started.
Wills vs. Trusts
A will is a legal document that determines the distribution of a person’s assets (estate) after their death. A trust is similarly a legal arrangement that governs the transfer of assets from the trust owner (“trustor”) to named beneficiaries. While both of these tools determine the transfer of assets, however, they differ slightly in function.
Wills take effect upon the death of the person; trusts take effect once the assets are transferred to the beneficiaries. Note that trusts can either be created after a person’s death (“testamentary trust”) that is designed according to the trustor’s will, or they can be created as “living trusts” with certain terms that can take effect during the trustor’s lifetime.
Keep in mind that a person should not have a trust without a will. Wills have a more complete reach regarding assets and relationships after death, while trusts only cover the fiduciary concerns of the deceased and their beneficiaries. For example, if a person wishes to establish a guardian for their minor children, they can only do so in a will. Wills can also provide for additional terms and instructions that may have been left out of a trust, such as if a person gains additional property later in life that they forgot to add into their trust. A will can also distribute any assets that do not transfer automatically, such as trust property or retirement accounts with named beneficiaries. Individuals with small estates may only need a will to cover all their assets and concerns; individuals with more numerous assets might benefit from creating a trust.
Contact The Law Offices of John Umholtz to get started. Assisting clients throughout the surrounding areas of Annapolis, Maryland.
Advance Directives and Powers of Attorney
Advance directives and powers of attorney (POA) may also be useful tools for the future, depending on a person’s needs. An advance directive (also called a “power of attorney for health” or “medical power of attorney”) is a written statement of a person’s wishes for medical treatment in the event that they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to communicate their wishes.
Maryland also has other types of powers of attorney, including a power of attorney for business affairs. This power of attorney generally gives a designated person (“agent”) the legal authority to manage an individual’s (“principal’s”) property while they are still alive. The principal can specify what specific powers the agent has, such as selling certain real estate or managing the principal’s bank account. A POA terminates automatically upon the principal’s death; a will can establish who can manage their affairs after death.
Ease Your Loved Ones’ Stress and Ensure Your Wishes Are Respected
A proper estate plan can save your loved ones from unnecessary stress and ensure that your wishes are respected when it comes to the division of your assets and important decisions regarding medical treatment. Estate plans can contain a variety of legal documents and arrangements, with wills and trusts being a couple of the most popular.
Without a valid estate plan in place, your assets will be distributed according to state “intestacy” law, which won’t likely align with your true wishes. It also guarantees that your family members have to go through the probate process and leaves more room for disputes to arise over who should get what.
The Law Offices of John Umholtz is a local estate planning firm that has helped many clients gain peace of mind. Start with a free consultation to discuss your estate planning needs and the process for building these plans with an experienced legal professional.
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I have used attorneys in the past, and John is superior!!
“John Umholtz is the best lawyer I have ever used and met. He listens to your case very well before he gives any advice. He’s extremely intelligent, thorough, and honest. His fees are more than reasonable. I highly recommend John for ANY legal needs whatsoever. I have used attorneys in the past, and John is superior!!”