As an estate planning attorney, it is my job to counsel and advise clients. I am tasked with understanding how assets are structured and the tax implications on certain accounts or financial products. Understanding how these things work both practically and legally allows me to counsel clients on how best to structure an estate plan for a particular family. For example, a traditional Brokerage … [Read more...] about What is the Difference Between an Estate Planning Attorney and a Financial Advisor?
A Living Trust is a way to hold title to assets, just like sole ownership or joint tenancy. The main reasons most individuals choose an estate plan that includes a Revocable Living Trust is to avoid probate. The only way to accomplish this is to set up the trust properly and fund your trust. Funding a trust is the process of transferring your assets to the ownership of your trust. Once ownership … [Read more...] about How to Fund Your Revocable Living Trust
Larry King was a mainstay on American television and an iconic radio host whose accolades included an Emmy, two Peabodys, and numerous cable awards. His notoriety will likely remain for years to come due to his celebrity status, his various marriages, and broadcasting firsts, including the talk show that bore his name. However, the legacy of Larry King may shift as the conversations regarding his … [Read more...] about Lessons Learned from Larry King
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?
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