If you are ever unable to communicate your medical wishes, then medical professionals may look to your Living Will, Durable Health Care Power of Attorney, and HIPAA authorization documents to provide the appropriate guidance. A Living Will specifies what you want to have happen to you if you are ever in a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state, or end-stage condition. A … [Read more...] about What Health Care Documents Do I Need During COVID-19?
It is important to know the power of attorney Maryland rules to ensure that you can make a comprehensive incapacity plan. Asset protection is a key part of your incapacity plan, and an experienced Annapolis attorney can provide you with help on making effective use of a power of attorney (POA) and other asset protection tools. When you create a power of attorney, you need to follow the … [Read more...] about Maryland Power of Attorney Rules
As estate planning attorneys we often get asked the following question, “Does my agent or trustee need to be well versed on how to do all aspects of their role?” Our answer isn’t a simple one or one standard answer that works for all our clients. However, we feel that it is important to discuss with our client that the agent they name in their documents should know that they’ve been named, the … [Read more...] about Should You Train Your Agent or Other Fiduciary Under Your Estate Planning Documents?
I have been considering getting an estate plan prepared but I do not know where to start. I do not know who to name as my trustee or executor. I am unsure of who I want to make health care decisions on my behalf. I do not know how I want my assets distributed upon my death. There is no way I can get started without this information, so I will continue to put it off. If this sounds familiar, … [Read more...] about Roadblocks in Estate Planning
If you have married someone and your spouse has children from a different relationship, those are your step-children. Even if you have helped raise the child from a very young age, unless you have adopted the child, they would not be considered your child for inheritance purposes. The implication of this can be significant. Here’s an example: When Harry met Sally, Sally had a newborn child, … [Read more...] about Planning for Step-Children
An Aging Life Care Professional is often referred to as a geriatric care manager and is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older loved ones or disabled adults. The goal of an Aging Life Care Specialist is to guide families to decisions and actions that ensure quality care and optimal life for those they love and to reduce the … [Read more...] about What is an Aging Life Care Professional?
Oftentimes in my consultations, I hear the refrain, “I am uncertain as to what is going to happen, so I do not know what I should do.” This comment is usually in reference to either the client’s own personal situation, such as a move or a family conflict, but it may be in response to legal or geopolitical uncertainty. The question is then, how do we prepare an estate plan in times of … [Read more...] about Estate Planning During Uncertain Times
March 23rd, 2020 UPDATE: Our physical office is closed following Governor Hogan's order that all non-essential businesses close. We will remain closed until directed otherwise. During this time, our staff is working remotely and all appointments (with the exception of document signings) can be conducted via video chat or phone consultation. Our staff is working diligently to contact all … [Read more...] about Our Promise to You During COVID-19
As part of the estate planning process, many of us consider purchasing a burial plot in order to help ease our families with making difficult decisions regarding final disposition. Some of us already have burial plots that have been passed down through the generations as our grandparents bought plots for the entire family. However, situations such as divorce, family disputes, changes in religious … [Read more...] about How Can I Sell My Burial Plot?
"In Maryland, at What Age Can You…?" by Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser (Audio) When are you considered an adult? I have always thought that at the age of 18 you are considered an adult, but your age and what you can do at that age, varies from state to state and from act to act. In Maryland you can: Get a driver’s license at the age of 16 When you reach 18 years old, you can sign … [Read more...] about In Maryland, What Age Can You…?
Leaving money to a grandchild can be more complicated than it appears at first glance. Here are some of the frequent questions that come up during my consultations, along with factors to consider. Q: Can I just name my grandchild as a beneficiary on my life insurance policy? A: You could, however this could make things more complicated when you pass away. For example, if the grandchild is … [Read more...] about Leaving an Inheritance to Grandchildren
"Documents Your Child Needs to Have When They Turn 18" by Attorney Laura Curry When your child turns the age of eighteen, he or she is now entitled to certain privacy considerations and you will no longer have the same level of access to financial and medical information that you once had. At a minimum, you should discuss with your child that they should have two important Power of Attorney … [Read more...] about Documents Your Child Needs to Have When They Turn 18
"Safeguarding Original Documents Is Important!" by Attorney Victor Lembo (Audio) In this electronic age of copy machines, fax machines, and scanners we often lose sight of the distinction between an original document and one that has been copied, faxed, or scanned. However, at times, especially in estate planning, there is no substitute for an original. J. Douglas King’s family found out … [Read more...] about Safeguarding Original Documents Is Important!
The “SECURE Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. The SECURE Act does many things, but here are a few of the biggest changes. First the good news: It changes the age at which you must start withdrawing from your IRA or retirement plan. It was age 70 ½ under prior law while under … [Read more...] about The SECURE Act
"Protecting Your Child's Inheritance from Divorce" by Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser (Audio) Many clients worry about their son-in-law or daughter-in-law divorcing their child and walking away with a big chunk of their estate. And why shouldn’t they worry? With a divorce rate in America topping every other country, the chances of your kids having a long and happy marriage are not good. … [Read more...] about Protecting Your Child’s Inheritance from Divorce
"When Should Assets Be Distributed After The Death of a Loved One?" by Attorney Alex Pagnotta (Audio) If you are a Personal Representative or Trustee, the chances are high that you will want to settle the estate and distribute the assets from the estate to the beneficiaries as quickly as possible. However, if you distribute the assets too soon, you may be held personally liable. This could … [Read more...] about When Should Assets Be Distributed After The Death of a Loved One?
"Medicaid Planning for Married Couples" by Attorney Laura Curry (Audio) Medical assistance in Maryland is provided through a joint federal-state program that can pay for care in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility for low-income individuals of all ages. It is important to know and understand the Maryland Medical Assistance, or Medicaid Eligibility Rules when thinking about planning for … [Read more...] about Medicaid Planning for Married Couples