When it comes time to create your estate plan, choosing an attorney to help you with your plan should be an important part of the process. At the Columbia, Maryland law firm of Sinclair Prosser Gasior, we understand what your estate plan means to you and we are dedicated to helping you create a plan that does much more than just create a roadmap for the distribution of your estate assets at the end of your life. Our goal is to help you protect everything that is important to you while you are alive and ensure that your loved ones are provided for when you are gone as well.
Columbia, Maryland is a census-designated place in Howard County as well as being part of the Baltimore metropolitan area and the Washington metropolitan area. Columbia is a planned community consisting of 10 self-contained villages and has frequently ranked in the top 10 of CNN Money’s “Best Places to Live in the United States.” As of the 2010 Census there were approximately 100,000 residents living in the villages of Columbia.
Columbia was the brainchild of James W. Rouse (1914-1996), a Maryland native who began his career working for the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s. Rouse went on to become a successful developer of commercial properties, including numerous shopping malls. By the 1960s, Rouse began looking for land to build a model city. After considering several options, he settled on Howard County, Maryland, ultimately purchasing 14,178 acres representing 10 percent of Howard County, from 140 separate owners. In June of 1967, Rouse unveiled his plans for the model city that he believed would avoid the “leap-frog” and spot development that so often occurred. His goal was to create a planned city that included not just housing, but schools, shopping, and medical services as well.
The centerpiece of Columbia would be The Mall in Columbia and man-made Lake Kittamaqundi with ten self-contained villages surrounding them. Each village includes several neighborhoods where you can find single family homes, apartments, and/or condominiums as well as recreational facilities, shopping, and bike/walking paths. Schools can also be found in the villages as well as religious facilities in several of the villages.
The “Downtown Columbia Plan” was unveiled in 2010 as a plan to revitalize downtown Columbia over the next 30 years.
Sinclair Prosser Gasior in the Columbia Community
Estate planning is a deeply personal, and often highly sensitive, endeavor. At Sinclair Prosser Gasior, we understand it can be difficult to discuss many of the aspects of an estate plan with a stranger which is one of the many reasons why we strive to create lifelong relationships with our Columbia, Maryland clients. In doing so, we believe we can better serve our clients and their estate planning needs now and in the years to come.
Your estate plan is not something you will ever definitively “finish” because your life is always subject to changes that could impact your existing estate plan. Initially, your estate planning needs will likely focus on the desire to avoid leaving behind an intestate estate should something happen to you. For that, a simple Last Will and Testament is sufficient. For most people, however, it isn’t long before changes in their life prompt the need for changes to their estate plan. For example, if you get married, you will likely want to include your spouse as a beneficiary in your estate plan as well as possibly appointing your spouse as your Executor or as the Trustee of a trust. Parenthood may cause you to look at ways to protect your minor child’s inheritance as well as ways to protect your family in the event of your incapacity. As your career takes off and your assets begin to grow, you will probably want to include asset protection tools in your estate plan. Retirement planning and Medicaid planning should be incorporated into your estate plan as well along the way to ensure that you are financially comfortable during your retirement years. Finally, you will want to consider end of life issues, such as your right to make medical decisions for yourself using an advance directive and your ability to ensure that your wishes are honored through the inclusion of a funeral and burial planning component in your overall estate plan.
At the Columbia, Maryland estate planning firm of Sinclair Prosser Gasior, we looking forward to working with you throughout your life to ensure that everything important to you is protected and that everyone important to you is provided for in your absence.
If you have additional questions or would like to get started on your estate plan, contact the experienced Columbia, Maryland estate planning attorneys at Sinclair Prosser Gasior by calling (410) 573-4818 to schedule an appointment.