Everyone Has a Post-Mortem Estate Plan

Whether or not you have any documents prepared, you have a post-mortem estate plan in place courtesy of the State of Maryland.

Each state has intestacy laws, which govern how the assets of someone who passes away will be distributed. For purposes on this section, the estate and assets referred to are probate assets, which are those assets subject to the probate process in Maryland.

In Maryland, the intestacy laws generally provide that:

  • Your spouse will receive only a portion, and your children, grandchildren, parents, or siblings, will receive a portion of the estate.
  • If there are no children and your parents predecease you, your spouse will inherit your estate.
  • If there are no children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, cousins, or stepchildren, the estate will be paid to the State of Maryland.

You also do not get to choose who will serve as the Personal Representative, the person administering your estate. There is a hierarchy of whom is the proper person to serve, which at the bottom of the list includes your creditors!

Some things you can do by creating your own estate plan for post-mortem planning include:

  • Designate a guardian for any minor children should both natural parents pass away
  • Distribute assets in any proportion and to whom you choose
  • Manage/control how, when, and under what circumstances assets are distributed to beneficiaries
  • Designate a person to administer the estate.

If you do not want to rely on the laws of the State of Maryland, and would like to create an estate plan that is individualized to meet your and your family’s needs, call us today at (410) 740-1180 or email Lauren at lauren@oliverfamilylaw.com.