Probate is the process by which a decedent’s estate (personal property, real property, etc.) is distributed to heirs and interested parties. If the decedent executed a will prior to their death, they died testate. If the decedent did not execute a will prior to their death, they died intestate.
The distinction between intestate and testate is an important one. If a person has a last will and testament, their estate is distributed according to their wishes as stated in their will. However, if a person does not have a will, distribution of the estate is done in accordance with the statutes and laws of the State of Maryland. In doing so, the decedent’s estate may pass to an unintended heir or beneficiary.
It is critical that you have an estate plan so that your heirs and beneficiaries receive exactly what you intend for them to inherit. This topic can be difficult to discuss. After all, we are talking about what happens after you die. But, it is probably the most important conversation you need to have with your loved ones to spare them the pain and stress of dealing with your estate after you pass. If you make provisions now, they will not have to make the hard decisions later.
Contact us today to discuss how to plan your estate properly, including health care directives and powers of attorney, so that you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will not have to deal with estate issues.