Posts in Estate Planning
The Ultimate Guide to Estate-Planning for Single Parents [2020 Edition]

Single parents have unique challenges when developing an estate plan. In most cases, their overriding goal is to provide for the care and upkeep of their children should they pass away while their children are still minors. With that in mind, below are three essential estate planning questions that all single parents ask themselves when they begin developing an estate plan.

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Does Your Estate Plan Make These 5 Big Tax Mistakes?

Estate planning has numerous benefits for you and your loved ones. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can protect your property and your heirs. One of the common reasons many people create estate plans is to address tax matters. However, without the assistance of an experienced Maryland estate-planning attorney, an individual could make big tax mistakes that are costly for those the person is trying to protect.

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Digital Assets - Erasing Your Digital Footprint When You Die

Managing your digital afterlife has become an important part of estate planning for many individuals. In addition to planning for transferring digital assets, many individuals are also concerned about their digital footprint after their death. Experienced Maryland-estate planning attorney should be able to discuss handling digital assets and your digital footprint in relation to your estate planning goals.

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4 Estate Planning Secrets of the Wealthy That You Can Use Too

Accumulating wealth and protecting wealth are two estate planning goals shared by most individuals, regardless of the size of their estate. If you are searching for ways to increase your estate to leave a substantial legacy to your heirs, look at some of the estate planning secrets wealthy individuals use as they develop and execute a comprehensive estate plan.

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Parents of Special Needs Children – 5 Estate-Planning Tools That Don’t Risk Your Child’s Benefits

Estate planning for parents is a crucial step in providing for the future care of a special needs child, especially if parents want to avoid risking their child’s benefits. A child receiving public assistance or disability benefits could lose those benefits if they inherit large sums of money or property. With careful estate planning, parents can provide for the financial needs of their child while keeping their benefits intact. 

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14 Things You Should Know About the ABLE Act

An important element of estate planning is planning for the future of a person with special needs. There are several tools a family can use to protect a loved one. One of the newest special needs estate-planning tools that many families are discussing with their Maryland estate-planning attorney is the ABLE account. If you have never considered an ABLE account, you may want to discuss one with your lawyer.

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Top 5 Trusts and When to Use Them

Maryland law provides many options to create a trust as part of your estate plan. Depending on your situation, one or more trusts may be in your best interests. Trusts are complex documents that can have life-long effects for you and your beneficiaries, so care must be taken in choosing and drafting your trusts. A Maryland estate-planning attorney can work with you to help you decide which type of trust or trusts best meet your needs. 

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How to Disinherit Someone — and Why You Shouldn't

People in Maryland can write practically whatever terms they want in their wills, but that does not mean the probate courts will honor those terms. Let's say that you want to leave nothing to the person who would ordinarily inherit a portion of your estate. You might be angry at the person, or you might have agreed, for example, with your spouse, that they will take nothing under your will. Take it from a Maryland estate-planning attorney—this may not be entirely legal.

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Maryland and DC Reduce Estate Tax Exemptions

In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress greatly increased the federal estate tax exemption. The tax bill doubled the federal estate tax exemption to $11.18 million for 2018. At the time of passing the tax bill, Maryland and DC intended to match the federal estate tax exemption amount. DC was set to match the federal estate tax exemption in 2018 and Maryland would match the federal exemption amount in 2019. 

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Estate Planning Strategies Under the New Federal Tax Law

Several events should trigger a review of your estate plan, such as the birth of a child, a divorce, or the death of an heir. Another reason to review your estate plan is a change in the tax code. When Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), I received numerous calls from clients with questions about how the changes to the federal tax code impacted their estate plans.

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Why do I Need an Advance Care Directive?

The purpose of an Advance Care Directive is to carefully explain how you want medical decisions to be made for you in the event you are unable to make the decisions for yourself. Even though you can locate forms for an Advance Care Directive online, preparing this important legal document without the assistance of a Maryland estate-planning attorney can result in your health care wishes being ignored.

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Why do I Need a Residuary Estate Clause?

When you draft and execute a will, your Maryland estate-planning attorney should ensure that your will has all mandatory clauses and terms to ensure the will is valid and accomplishes your wishes and goals. Because attorneys who do not practice in the area of estate planning may not be familiar with certain clauses for wills, it is prudent to seek the advice of an experienced Maryland estate planning attorney when executing your will.

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5 Things That Happen When You Fail to Have an Estate Plan in Place

Estate planning is an important process for individuals regardless of their wealth, marital status, age, or health. An estate plan is much more than simply directing who will inherit your assets upon your death. A comprehensive estate plan can lower or eliminate estate taxes, protect assets from creditors, provide for incapacitation, protect a family member with special needs, and much more.

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What Responsibilities Do Virginia Guardians and Conservators Have?

When a minor child or an incapacitated adult is appointed a court-ordered guardian and conservator, the person appointed by the court has a duty and legal responsibility to act in the best interests of the protected person or ward (minor child or incapacitated adult). It can be a little overwhelming if you are suddenly appointed by the court to care for another person and manage that person’s property and affairs.

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Do You Know How to Use a Durable Power of Attorney?

Have you been named as the Attorney-in-Fact or Agent of a Durable Power of Attorney? If so, it is very important that you understand the powers and duties that have been granted to you by the Principal. It is equally important that you understand how and when to use the powers granted to you by the Durable Power of Attorney. Our Virginia estate-planning attorney assists individuals in learning how to use a Durable Power of Attorney in addition to assisting individuals as they create these documents as part of their estate plan.

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