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
"How Much is Too Much?" by Attorney Jon Gasior (Audio) We all want to help our kids financially, but how much is too much? Businessman billionaire Warren Buffet was quoted in a 1986 Fortune article that, even if you had ample wealth, one should leave your kids “enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” Bill Gates, Warren … [Read more...] about How Much is Too Much?
"Don’t Junk that Old Car Yet!" by Attorney Victor Lembo (Audio) Recently, the owner of a 1970 Ford Mustang put his car on eBay for sale. According to reports, the Mach 1 appeared to have faded paint and some wear and tear, but the true value of the vehicle was hidden. The Denver-based owner first used it in high school and sold it in 1984. However, he recently tracked it down and bought it back … [Read more...] about Don’t Junk that Old Car Yet!
"How to Maximize the Benefits of Donating to a Charity" by Attorney Alexander Pagnotta (Audio) Often, an individual wants to make a gift to charity. They don’t want something complicated, but they want to get the most bang for their buck. Estate planning attorneys and other financial professionals know the client could just contribute cash to the charity. Certainly, that would be fine with … [Read more...] about How to Maximize the Benefits of Donating to a Charity
"How to Obtain a Guardianship in Maryland" by Attorney Laura Curry (Audio) When a person is unable to care for their personal or financial needs because of age, disease, or disability, the court may appoint a guardian. A guardianship is a legal proceeding in which a petitioner (usually a family member or friend) asks the court to find that the person (the “alleged disabled individual”) is … [Read more...] about How to Obtain a Guardianship in Maryland
"Why Do Heirs Prefer Trusts?" by Attorney Victor A. Lembo (Audio) Many individuals desire to have an efficient administration of their possessions and assets when they pass away. We all know there may be complexities in handling an estate after death, but most families want privacy and peace. Creating a trust will help provide your heirs or beneficiaries their inheritance in an effective … [Read more...] about Why Do Heirs Prefer Trusts?
"End-of-Life Planning: Estate Planning at its Core" by Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser (Audio) As estate planning attorneys, we do many things for clients, including: Helping clients plan for their disability by assigning an agent who will manage their assets and care for them when they are unable to do so themselves Provide guidance on what will happen with their worldly belongings … [Read more...] about End-of-Life Planning: Estate Planning at its Core
When a loved one passes away, our lives are suddenly turned upside down. Family needs to be notified. The funeral must be planned. Bills start stacking up. The list goes on. We have various emotions, all the while knowing that as time progresses, legal matters require attention. While you may attempt to "do-it-yourself,” there are a number of pitfalls and problems that can come with serious … [Read more...] about Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Estate Administration
It has been eleven months since I stepped aside as the owner of SinclairProsser Law and I continue to work at the law firm with Attorney Jon Gasior as the principal. I have been an attorney for 29 years, recently celebrated 23 years at the firm, and owned and operated SinclairProsser Law for 15 years. Going from being the owner of the law firm to an employee has been a big transition for me, but … [Read more...] about Passing the Torch
As I have reflected on this past year and the transfer of ownership to me from Colleen Sinclair Prosser, I often consider my “why.” “Why do I do estate planning? Why do we show up to work each day?” At the heart of my why is a desire to help others. Many businesses make the claim that their purpose is to “help others,” but as an estate planning and estate administration law firm, we do more than … [Read more...] about Creating a Why
"Why an LLC Is Better Than a Sole Proprietorship" by Attorney Alex Pagnotta (Audio) An LLC is a type of business entity that is an alternative to a sole proprietorship or a corporation. LLCs are a good option for many business owners who want more protection from liability than a sole proprietorship or a partnership would provide. LLCs can also be used in estate planning. If you are … [Read more...] about Why an LLC Is Better Than a Sole Proprietorship
"How Can Estate Planning Attorneys Help Business Owners?" by Attorney Laura T. Curry (Audio) Estate planning attorneys provide help to people who own businesses who want those businesses to survive even after the owner's death or departure. If you want your business to serve as your legacy and be handed down to the next generation, you need to ensure that you are prepared for what could happen … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Business Owners
"The Importance of Communicating Your Plans" by Attorney Jon Gasior (Audio) Whether or not we plan to do so, each of us will face death eventually. However, by planning we can make our passing easier and better in many ways for those we leave behind. This article focuses on the importance of communicating your plans to your family to avoid problems after your death. Death is seldom easy for … [Read more...] about The Importance of Communicating Your Plans
"What’s Your Generation?" by Attorney Victor Lembo (Audio) Whether sitting at the doctor’s office, ordering dinner, or simply watching television, there are constant reminders about how we grew up and how we like to do things. For example, how do you get to the doctor – perhaps you walk, drive or Uber? Do you prefer to eat in the restaurant, pick up curbside, or order through an app? Do you … [Read more...] about What’s Your Generation?