"Pros and Cons of a Prenup" by Attorney Jon Gasior (Audio) Is it a good idea to sign a prenuptial contract before tying the knot? What are the pros and cons of prenups? The pros The most common reason couples fight is finances. Getting it all out on the table upfront will help with discussing financial matters down the road. Couples should consider spending habits: If one person … [Read more...] about Pros and Cons of a Prenup
"Insurance to Protect Your Assets" by Attorney Victor Lembo (Audio) We all want to ensure our families are protected in times of need, as we never know what life has around the next corner. Keeping your money secure can be a challenge, and as estate planning attorneys, SinclairProsser Law can help make certain that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your family and assets. For … [Read more...] about Insurance You Need to Protect Your Assets
"What Should You Expect as a Trust Beneficiary?" by Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser If you have been named as the beneficiary of a trust, the implications of this will vary depending upon the kind of trust created and any conditions that were placed upon the transfer of trust assets in the trust document. In many cases, a settlor will create a living trust for the primary purpose of … [Read more...] about What Should You Expect as a Trust Beneficiary?
"Downsides to Guardianship" by Attorney Alexander Pagnotta Guardianship could become necessary under circumstances where a person becomes incapacitated and has made no advance plans regarding who will manage their affairs. Guardianship or conservatorships are formal legal processes that establish an officially-recognized relationship between an incapacitated person (a ward) and his guardian or … [Read more...] about Downsides to Guardianship
"Why Crowdfunding May Cost You Medicaid Eligibility" by Attorney Laura T. Curry Crowdfunding or fundraising websites, such as Kickstarter, YouCaring, and GoFundMe are quickly becoming a popular source for donations where ordinary people may raise money from others for anything from new inventions to helping a neighbor or family member in need. Over time, crowdfunding has morphed into a platform … [Read more...] about Why Crowdfunding May Cost You Medicaid Eligibility
"The SECURE Act" by Attorney Jon J. Gasior (Audio) On May 23, 2019, the House of Representatives passed the SECURE Act. The SECURE Act fundamentally changes how retirement assets are treated both during the account owner’s lifetime, as well as at death. The current rules allow for retirement assets to be “stretched” out over the lifetime of the beneficiary that inherits that retirement … [Read more...] about The SECURE Act
"What’s In Your Mailbox…After Death?" by Attorney Victor A. Lembo (Audio) We all know we have to check the mail. Yes, there may be bills or important documents, and there may even be a greeting card or coupons for your next shopping trip. But when you pass away, have you wondered what will happen to your mail? How does the post office learn of your death? Who has access to your mail and who … [Read more...] about What’s In Your Mailbox…After Death?
"Should You Tell Your Kids if You’re Leaving Them Money in Trust?" by Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser I am often asked the question, “Should I tell my kids that I am leaving their inheritance in a trust?” and, as a typical attorney, my answer is, “it depends”. Many parents are reluctant to discuss the fact they are creating a trust with their children. There are some good reasons why you … [Read more...] about Should You Tell Your Kids if You’re Leaving Them Money in Trust?
"What is the Money in a Special Needs Trust Used For?" by Attorney Alex Pagnotta The creation of a special needs trust is of vital importance if you have a person in your life who is disabled and you want to provide a financial gift to that individual. Money or property that you wish to give should be placed into a trust so as not to cause a loss of access to important government benefits like … [Read more...] about What is the Money in a Special Needs Trust Used For?
"Can You Give Away Your Wealth to Get Medicaid?" by Attorney Laura Curry Medicaid is the single largest source of health coverage in the United States and is administered by states, according to federal requirements. It provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities. Medicaid is a means-tested … [Read more...] about Can You Give Away Your Wealth to Get Medicaid?
"Spousal Elective Share Update" by Attorney Jon Gasior (Audio) A few weeks ago, we talked about the Maryland Estates and Trust code and the proposed changes to the spousal elective share. For years, Maryland legislators have been proposing to change how the spousal elective share works. The general idea of the elective share is that a surviving spouse can make a claim against a deceased … [Read more...] about Spousal Elective Share Update
"The Advantages of Portability" by Attorney Victor Lembo When a decedent dies, a federal estate tax return (IRS Form 706) is not required to be filed unless the decedent’s gross estate exceeds their remaining federal estate tax exclusion. In 2019, for someone who has not used any exclusion during their lifetime, this would be $11.4 million. Maryland also has an estate tax, as it decoupled from … [Read more...] about The Advantages of Portability
"Clarity is Key to Planning" by Attorney Jon J. Gasior (Audio) When problems arise in an estate plan, often the source is a lack of clarity. Tom Petty died in 2017 and left a fortune estimated by Newsweek to be around $38 million. Petty did some things right, but he could have done better. What did Tom Petty do right? First, he planned. Most people just let nature take its course and fail … [Read more...] about Clarity is Key to Planning
"Sending Condolences" by Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser Writer Gail Rubin is a wonderful resource to me for her kindness and keen sense of caring during a difficult time in someone’s life, the death of a loved one. Recently, she provided some good advice on how to offer your condolences that I would like to share with you. You don’t need to be an award-winning writer to create an … [Read more...] about Sending Condolences
"Medicaid’s Spousal Impoverishment Rules" by Attorney Alex Pagnotta Almost half of all seniors currently in long-term care rely on Medicaid to help cover the cost of that care. If you, or your spouse, are facing the need for long-term care (LTC) in the near future, you may also find yourself turning to Medicaid to help. The Medicaid eligibility guidelines and application procedures, however, … [Read more...] about Medicaid’s Spousal Impoverishment Rules
"Estate Planning for Cryptocurrency" by Attorney Laura Curry There has been a lot of recent news about the founder of a cryptocurrency exchange suddenly dying and not having a plan in place to address his $190 million in bitcoin and other funds. The thirty year old founder and CEO of a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange died on a trip to India and did not share the password for his encrypted … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Cryptocurrency
"What is the Augmented Estate?" by Attorney Jon J. Gasior Over the last several years, the Maryland General Assembly has considered bills that are often called “augmented estate” bills. The question becomes, how will these impact Marylanders, if at all? In order to understand the augmented estate, one must first understand the spousal election. In Maryland a surviving spouse can make an … [Read more...] about What is the Augmented Estate?