Do Prepare for the Unexpected.

Estate planning involves conversation surrounding difficult subjects such as death and illness. Rather than delaying this discussion, it may be viewed as an opportunity to address these topics head on; There is much security, confidence, and peace of mind to be gained from adequate planning.

Do Keep Essential Documents Organized and Accessible.

Once your estate planning documents are created, it is highly suggested that they be stored in a weatherproof location that can be easily accessed in the event of an emergency. Disclose the location to a trusted individual. Your family and loved ones will appreciate the care you took to facilitate the retrieval of these documents, which will be needed in the event of your death or incapacitation.

Do Keep Your Estate Plan Up to Date.

As you venture through life, face new circumstances, acquire assets, gain family members, and lose loved ones, your estate plan should be updated to reflect these life changes. The assistance of an estate planning professional may ensure that documents are current, valid, and well-suited to your needs.


Don’t Procrastinate!

Countless individuals make the mistake of assuming they are too young for estate planning or that it is too early in their life to begin the process. However, death and emergency situations (such as incapacitation) can strike at any age.

Don’t Risk Losing Important Paperwork.

Have you ever spent an inordinate amount of time searching for a vital document? To prevent this situation from happening, think ahead to the time where you will need the document(s), and plan accordingly. Organization is essential before, during, and after the estate planning process takes place. Important documents include birth certificates, bank statements, and marriage/divorce certificates, among others.

Don’t Forget to Revisit Documents.

Chances are, you are in a much different situation than you were one, ten, or five years ago. For this reason, many types of estate planning documents are editable and can be subject to revision if necessary. Furthermore, your opinions regarding end-of-life treatment, beneficiary designation, and estate distribution may change over time.

Taking charge by forming and revising your estate planning documents is one way to empower yourself while protecting the needs of your loved ones. For assistance with creating a Maryland estate plan or with your existing plan, we invite you to contact the Law Offices of Elsa W. Smith, LLC at 410-995-7719.