State Rules

These sections cover specific rules and laws in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the author’s states of licensure.

The Changing Virginia Code: When You’ll Do Nothing And Like It

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Today, we will discuss a fairly unique circumstance that has emerged as a result of the pending changes in the Virginia Code.  Many existing Virginia wills and trusts reference specific sections of the current Virginia Code.  Since many Code sections will be renumbered this October, will your existing estate documents thereafter be referring to obsolete…

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The New Virginia Title 64.2: A Whole Greater than the Sum of 5 Parts

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In recent years, one’s estate planning considerations are touching upon an increasing range of issues.  In Virginia, a thorough estate plan must include consideration of the laws relating not only to wills and trusts, but also to fiduciaries, guardianship of minors, adult guardianships and conservatorships. The fact that these topics are presently covered in no…

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2012 Changes in Virginia Trust Law (Part 2): Decanting & Directed Trusts

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Last week, we discussed in Part 1 of this topic how Virginia recently passed several bills that will revise state trust law on July 1, 2012.  Today, in Part 2, we will continue our discussion about these changes in the law. As a reminder, while these rules are currently the law in a minority of…

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2012 Changes in Virginia Trust Law (Part 1): Asset Protection Trusts

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Virginia recently passed several bills that will revise state trust law on July 1, 2012.  In this post and the following post, I will attempt to briefly describe these changes in the law, define key terms and discuss the effects of each.  Some of these rules are already in place in other states, but the…

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Have Dependents? Then Strongly Consider Standby Guardianships

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Today we discuss a strategy that is useful in case of what is likely the most devastating, worst-case scenario for many families – the unexpected and sudden death of parents or caregivers. While we hesitate to even think about it, we must consider all possibilities in estate planning so that loved ones can be left…

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Maybe Joe Paterno’s House Transfer Wasn’t So Dumb After All

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“You see my husband as a saint, so he must be right in everything he says and does.  And then you see him as a devil, and everything he says and does must be wrong.  Well, my husband is neither a saint nor a devil.  He’s just a human being and he makes mistakes.”  Read…

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One State’s Brochure Against Living Trusts: How ‘Bout Them Apples?

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A colleague recently sent me a link to this pamphlet,  “Living Trusts:  Get the Facts!” from the Estates and Trusts Section of the Maryland State Bar and the Register of Wills Association of Maryland, circa 2004.  I did not even have to click on the link, because I was already well acquainted with it.  Read…

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Last Week in Estate Planning (July 24 to July 30, 2011)

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The possibility of the U.S. government defaulting on its obligations dominated the news last week.  Two links below, including the Post of the Week, discusses the future effects of the raised debt ceiling that is now signed law. Top Posts and Articles of the Week Post of the Week Making a Deal in Washington (Capital…

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Last Week in Estate Planning (July 17 to July 23, 2011)

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One of my favorite passages in literature comes from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII, by poet John Donne, written in 1624:  Read more...

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Last Week in Estate Planning (July 10 to July 16, 2010)

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When the best in online reading on estate planning involves traditional Jewish stews, baseball, and a lawsuit involving the inability of an apparently dead person to refinance her mortgage, you know it’s going to be a fun week. Enjoy these posts and articles that I thought were the most interesting and helpful during the week…

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