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Estate Planning, Washington DC Style


Did you hear that millennials are leaving the DC area in droves?  There’s no one left here but us.  Are we really so old that the Millennium, at which time we were already young adults, was more than 20 years ago?  Where did the time go?  Our hair is turning gray, and our children know more efficient ways to fix smartphone glitches than we do, but we are living paycheck to paycheck, as we have been doing since we were young.  Now another year is ending, and we still haven’t gotten started on our estate plans.  Between working multiple gigs and making a sincere effort to instill resilience and emotional intelligence in our children, who has time to write a will?  We hardly have enough free time to breathe, much less write an estate plan.  The good news is, you don’t have to write your estate plan right now, while you are overwhelmed with everything else, but you do need to get started.  Everyone who is old enough to fear death is old enough to die, and even a few notes on the notes app on your phone will give your family more consolation and guidance than if you had not left any written instructions at all.  Type some notes on your phone tonight, and you can safely wait until the New Year to contact a Washington DC estate planning lawyer.

The Estate Inventory Note

Whenever an estate goes to probate, regardless of whether the decedent left a will, the personal representative must complete an estate inventory.  In Maryland, the deadline for filing the completed estate inventory form is 90 days after the court appoints the personal representative.  The estate inventory is a list of all the decedent’s assets; the probate court uses this as a basis for paying the decedent’s debts and settling the estate. Even if you never get around to writing a will in which you designate a personal representative, you can at least make life easier for the relative who initiates probate proceedings by compiling a rough draft of a list of your assets. If you are feeling ambitious and still have enough energy left in your thumb, you can also type a list of creditors to which you owe debts and bills.

The Long-Term Care Insurance Note

The best way to ease the burden on your family during probate is to write a will, but the best way to ease their burden in your old age is to buy long-term care insurance.  If you are healthy enough to shop for long-term care insurance, it is not too late to buy it, but the younger and healthier you are when you buy your long-term care insurance policy, the less expensive the policy will be.  No one is asking you to buy a long-term care insurance policy as you lie on the couch, too tired to put your phone back on the charger, but at least take some screenshots of long-term care insurance websites so you can find them in your phone’s photo library later.

Contact Us About Estate Planning With Limited Resources

An estate planning lawyer can help you make sense of the notes on your phone and turn them into an actionable estate plan.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for help today.



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