If you are contemplating the addition of a living trust to your estate plan, one of the most important decisions you will need to make when creating your trust is who to appoint as your Trustee. One of the most common reasons for a trust to fail is appointing the wrong Trustee. Typically, that happens because the Settlor does not really understand what the duties and responsibilities of a Trustee … [Read more...] about Trust Administration Explained
If you have a parent who is a resident of a nursing home, you undoubtedly worry about the level of care and compassion they are receiving at the facility. Unfortunately, there is no way to know with 100 percent certainty that the facility in which your parent is a resident is free from elder abuse and neglect. You are not powerless though. What you can do is be aware of the issue and learn how to … [Read more...] about How Do I Know If My Parent Is the Victim of Elder Abuse?
In the absence of even a simple Last Will and Testament, your estate will be distributed according to the intestate succession laws of your state of residency at the time of your death. In most cases, that means that a spouse and/or children will inherit your estate. What happens if you have a child born out of wedlock? Will that child inherit from your estate? The Annapolis estate planning … [Read more...] about Does a Child Born Out of Wedlock Inherit from My Estate?
For 2019, the average cost of a year in a Maryland long-term care facility was over $125,000. Unless you can afford to cover that kind of expense out of pocket, you will likely need to depend on Medicaid to help you if you need long-term care (LTC) in the future. One of your biggest fears, however, may be the commonly held belief that to qualify for Medicaid you will have to give up your home or … [Read more...] about Can Medicaid Still Take My Home after I Die?
If you wish to gift assets to someone with special needs, care must be taken when making that gift because you could do more harm than good. To ensure that you do not interfere with the beneficiary’s eligibility for much-needed state and federal assistance programs, you may choose to make your gift using a Special Needs Trust. A Special Needs Trust is a specialized type of trust that is intended … [Read more...] about Special Planning for Children with Special Needs
If you have yet to create even a basic estate plan, you have likely had to listen to well-meaning friends and family encouraging you to get started. It helps to understand why it is so important to have that plan in place. Toward that end, a Bowie estate planning attorney at Sinclair Prosser Gasior explains why you don’t want to die intestate. Intestate vs. Intestate Estates When a … [Read more...] about Why Do I Need a Will?
Marriage can automatically give each spouse some rights in each other’s property. However, marriage does not automatically change your will or trust to provide for the new spouse. It is important to examine your estate plan in light of the new situation and your mutual and separate goals. Divorce is particularly disruptive to an estate plan. Goals which you had before, such as providing for … [Read more...] about Top 10 Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan
The wealth gap between parents and their adult children has never been greater and there is a common narrative that many adult children are still receiving financial support from their parents. The numbers tell us that the majority of young adults who could be considered “financially independent” from their parents by their early twenties has continuously gone down in recent decades. What does … [Read more...] about Does Loaning Money to Children Affect Your Estate Plan?
It has been 10 years since Maryland passed the “Maryland General and Limited Power of Attorney Act.” Power of attorney documents have become more complex and now create enforceable, legal obligations for both the principal and the agent. A power of attorney is a legal document in which the principal gives an agent the power to act on his/her behalf. The principal is the one who creates the power … [Read more...] about What are the Maryland Power of Attorney Rules?
When planning your estate, you have the right to designate who will receive your assets. At the same time, you are also determining who not to benefit, or perhaps even who to disinherit. As estate planners, we are often asked whether you have to leave anything to your spouse. Historically, statutes have protected the surviving spouse from being disinherited during administration. However, it was … [Read more...] about The Augmented Estate: Maryland’s New Elective Share Law
No one likes to think about death or making final arrangements for themselves or a loved one, which is why the importance of funeral pre-planning is often ignored. However, pre-planning your funeral may be one of the biggest comforts you can give your family at the time of your death. When deciding whether or not pre-planning your funeral is right for you, there are three important benefits to … [Read more...] about The Importance of Funeral Pre-Planning
As we reflect on 2020, it is easy to look back on the year with a sense of doubt, fear, and even sadness. COVID-19 has upended normal routines and impacted lives in ways that none of us ever expected. Social distancing, telecommuting, and virtual learning have all become common-place. We’ve seen business closings, nursing home restrictions, and even family and friends falling ill during these … [Read more...] about Message from the Owner
If you already have an estate plan in place, ask yourself if you have included all your family in that plan? If you have a beloved pet that you consider part of the family, you may very well have failed to include him/her in your existing plan because you didn’t realize you could do so. To help you better understand, an Annapolis estate planning attorney at Sinclair Prosser Gasior explains how to … [Read more...] about How to Include Your Family Pet in Your Estate Plan
For most people, a Last Will and Testament serves as the foundation of their estate plan. As such, it is usually the first estate planning document executed. If you are in the process of creating your Will, be careful not to overlook the importance of the Executor you appoint in that Will. One of the most common estate planning mistakes people make is to appoint someone as the Executor of their … [Read more...] about How to Choose the Right Executor
When you think about creating an initial estate plan, you likely focus entirely on the need to create a roadmap for the distribution of your estate assets in the event of your death. While that certainly will always remain an important estate planning goal. You will undoubtedly include additional goals into your estate plan over time. The best way to decide which estate planning goals should be … [Read more...] about What Your Estate Plan Can Do for You
The acronym HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. In this post, we will explain why this piece of legislation is something to take into consideration when you are planning your estate. Advance Directives for Health Care Everyone is well aware of the fact that you have to facilitate postmortem asset transfers when you put your estate plan in place. A … [Read more...] about What Is a HIPAA Release?
If you find yourself serving as the Trustee of a trust for the first time, you likely have a number of questions and concerns about your responsibilities and duties. At the top of that list may be concerns over the possibility of being held personally liable if you make a mistake. To explain where you stand, an Annapolis trust administration attorney at Sinclair Prosser Gasior explains when and … [Read more...] about Can I Be Personally Liable If I Serve as a Trustee?