Maryland

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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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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State Law Differences Regarding Spousal Disinheritance

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We have talked a bit lately about how estate planning cannot meet a one-size-fits-all approach.  While this is primarily due to the differing situations and desires of each individual, it also has to do with the significant variations in state law.  Read more...

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Would You Like That “Per Stirpes” or “Per Capita”?

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There are many scenarios in estate planning where a deceased person receives a gift of property.  Someone’s will may not have been amended in time.  A trust drafted many years ago leaves an asset to several siblings, one of whom has passed away since the document was created.  State intestacy laws designate assets to classes…

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Will Contests: 10 Ways to Protect Against Estate Plan Challenges

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Getting your will drafted is a daunting enough process without worrying about whether or not to disinherit family.  If you anticipate that anyone will try to challenge your will, then your estate planning documents should provide as much protection as possible against a “will contest”.  Read more...

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Elder Abuse Law: Is Momentum Building for New Legislation?

Justice For All: Ending Elder Abuse, Neglect & Financial Exploitation Senate Hearing

You may have read about 90-year-old actor Mickey Rooney’s recent testimony at the Senate Special Committee on Aging regarding how he personally suffered psychological abuse and financial exploitation due mainly to his advanced age.  Today, we will list some resources and links regarding the developing law regarding elder abuse. CATEGORIES OF ELDER ABUSE According to…

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Artificial Insemination and Estate Planning: Laws in Their Infancy

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Assisted reproductive technology (“ART”) describes the methods used to help women become pregnant through the aid of artificial means.  ART encompasses several procedures, including but not limited to artificial insemination, fertility drugs, in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, and obviously involves sperm donation as well.  The distinction between the different types of ART becomes very important…

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Probate In Real Life III: Rights Against Beneficiaries

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Today, we continue our discussion of probate and the executor’s duties.  In Part I, we discussed what happens if a named executor does not want to serve.  In Part II, we discussed inventories, the executor’s duty to control the estate’s assets, and the potential for the estate representative to suffer personal liability.  In this post,…

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Probate In Real Life II: The Executor’s Duties and Liabilities

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Today, we continue our discussion of probate and the executor’s duties.  In Part I, we discussed what happens if a person named as executor does not want to serve.  In this post, we will cover the executor’s duties of preparing an inventory of the decedent’s property, controlling the estate’s assets, and his potential for personal…

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Why All Parents Need Temporary Guardianship and Emergency Planning

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What will happen to your kids, elderly parents or other dependents if some emergency situation arose?  Does your estate plan cover these situations? As we have discussed in many posts, estate planning is not limited to passing your property after death.  We have often referred to Ancillary Documents such as “Durable Powers of Attorney”, “Advance…

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