As you get older, you might wonder how to leave property to adult children after you pass away. What will your children inherit, and how do your leave assets to each beneficiary?
Inheritances are a complex legal issue, as estates and beneficiaries may be required to pay taxes when you pass away and the beneficiaries receive their inheritances. An estate planning attorney with The Law Office of Ralph W. Powers Jr., PC, in Upper Marlboro, MD, can help you leave property to adult children in Maryland. Contact us today for help with estate planning to leave assets to your loved ones.
Creating a Will or Trust
To help ensure that your children inherit family heirlooms, property, or other important assets, create a will to leave assets to specific beneficiaries. Wills are subject to probate and become a matter of public record. If you have creditors or tax debts, assets you leave to a beneficiary in your will may go toward repaying your debts instead of going directly to beneficiaries.
If you want to leave assets to your children that avoid probate, you can create a living trust. When you transfer assets into the trust, they no longer belong to you. Instead, they become the property of the trust, and the trustee can distribute the trust assets to the beneficiaries according to the trust instructions upon your passing.
Trusts do not become public record, meaning your adult children don’t need to worry about losing their inheritance to creditors or tax debts. You can create a pour-over will to transfer assets into the trust upon passing away to protect any assets not transferred into the trust already from entering probate. Maryland does not recognize transfer on death deeds to avoid probate.
What If You Pass Away Without a Will or Trust?
If you pass away without a will or trust, called “dying intestate,” Maryland will follow intestate succession to distribute your remaining assets after probate. The state will determine how to leave property to adult children based on the priority of survivorship, including:
- Children inherit all if you have children and no spouse
- Spouse inherits all if you have no children or living parents, or has living parents but married longer than five years
- Spouse inherits half of intestate property and minor children inherit the rest
- Spouse inherits $40,000 of intestate property and half of the rest, and adult children inherit the rest
- Spouse inherits $40,000 of intestate property and half of the rest, and parents inherit the rest if married fewer than five years and you have living parents but no children
- Parents inherit everything if you have no spouse or children
- Siblings inherit everything if you have no spouse, children, or living parents
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney in Southern Maryland
When wondering how to leave property to adult children when you pass away, a living trust is many people’s best option. Contact an estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Ralph W. Powers Jr., PC, in Upper Marlboro, MD, to learn more about wills, trusts, and inheritances. Call us today at 301-627-1000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.