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.
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.
Everyone needs estate-planning in one form or another, regardless of your age or stage in life. Part of any estate-plan includes a personal inventory. This is never an easy task, even for the most organized person.
Keep Track of Your Important Details and Assets Easily and Securely
I’ve taken the guesswork out of the process by creating a Free Personal Estate-Planning Inventory App that will enable you to quickly and easily add your:
Funeral/Celebration of Life Requests
All of your data is stored and transmitted securely. As long as you keep your password protected, your data is secure.
Online or Offline Storage
Create your personal inventory all at once, or as you have time, with the convenient “Save and Return” feature. When you’re done, create a hard-copy by printing out and keeping with your other important documents, or saving a copy to your hard drive or cloud service.
The Free Personal Estate-Planning Inventory App allows you to easily update your inventory any time you buy or sell assets, go through a divorce, death or birth, or change your mind about your end-of-life wishes.
Estate-Planning Made Easy
Your personal estate-planning inventory can serve as the starting-point for the creation of your will, or trust, or in determining what other estate-planning tools are appropriate for you and your family. You’ve worked hard to get where you are. Protect that investment, and your family, by creating your personal estate-planning inventory today.
NOTE: The act of creating an account, logging into an account, or creating a personal estate-planning inventory does not create an attorney-client relationship. Thienel Law is not responsible for the data entered or the reports produced by this application. Read full disclaimer here.
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.
You have several options if you want to protect your assets and your loved ones in Maryland. A Maryland estate-planning attorney can help you sort through your options and develop strategies for optimizing the types of documents we can use in our state.
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.
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.
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.
If you have an estate plan, resolve to review the plan with your Maryland estate-planning attorney. If you have no estate plan, resolve to devise an estate plan in 2019 that reflects your wishes and desires for your future and your family.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An estate administration attorney guides a personal representative through each step of the estate administration process. Because a personal representative can be held liable for negligence and other errors made while administering the estate, it is important to have an attorney to provide legal advice and support.
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.
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.
When you appoint a trustee, you are placing a great deal of confidence in this person to manage the trust assets. A trustee holds a great deal of power because the trustee holds legal title to the property within the trust. It is very important that a trustee understands his fiduciary duties under the terms of the trust and Washington DC trustee laws. A DC trust administration attorney can assist trustees in understanding their fiduciary duties as a trustee.
At some point in many people’s lives, they become unable to watch over their personal or financial care. In these situations, it may become necessary for someone to step in and assume certain responsibilities of care for that person. Some states call them guardians, others conservators. These individuals are charged with ensuring an incapacitated person’s medical, financial and other needs are met. With proper planning with an estate-planning attorney, guardianships can be avoided.
When it comes to estate-planning, the two terms that generally come to mind are wills and trusts. We know we should have one or the other, or perhaps both. For many people, it can be difficult to determine what the best course of action will be to protect their assets. Additionally, because Maryland updated its law on trusts a few years ago, incorporating many provisions from the Uniform Probate Code, it may be necessary for those people who have a Maryland trust to reconsider their options.