PROBATE

3 Simple Ways to Avoid Probate Costs

By |2020-04-24T19:20:16+00:00April 24th, 2020|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Trusts, Wills|

The bad news: probated estates are subject to a variety of costs from attorneys, executors, appraisers, accountants, courts, and state law. Depending on the probate's complexity, fees can run into tens of thousands of dollars. The good news: probate costs can be reduced by avoiding probate. It’s really that simple. Here are three simple ways to avoid probate costs by avoiding probate: Name a Beneficiary. The probate process determines who gets what when there is no beneficiary designation. So, naming a beneficiary is the easiest way to avoid probate. Common beneficiary designation assets include: Life insurance Annuities Retirement plans Create [...]

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

By |2020-04-24T19:26:24+00:00April 17th, 2020|Categories: Design, ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Wills|

Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions.  Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when it’s needed. Estate Planning Myth #1 – You Don’t Need an Estate Plan Because Your Spouse Will Inherit Everything A common belief is that if you’re married and you don’t have a will or a trust, your spouse will still inherit everything.  Unfortunately this is not always the case.  Who will inherit your estate even if you’re married depends [...]

COVID19 and Virtual Estate Planning

By |2020-04-06T19:53:29+00:00April 6th, 2020|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Trusts, Wills|

These are difficult and uncertain times. Deal with COVID-19, changes in work situation, homeschooling, and Stay-at-Home orders can be stressful and flat-out scary. With the Nations focus now on the our personal and communal health estate planning might not be of the greatest priority to you. Or if it is, you might have questions on how you are going to get it done without actually going to see and meet with an attorney. Remote Planning your Legal Documents We can help you create your estate plan from the comfort of your home. We will set up phone of Zoom meetings [...]

3 Tips for Overwhelmed Executors

By |2020-02-24T15:05:38+00:00March 3rd, 2020|Categories: PROBATE|

While it is an honor to be named as an executor of a will or estate, it can also be a sobering and daunting responsibility. Being an executor (sometimes called a personal representative) requires a high level of organization, foresight, and attention to detail to meet responsibilities and ensure that all beneficiaries receive the assets to which they are entitled. If you’ve found yourself in the position of “overwhelmed executor,” here are some tips to lighten the load. Get professional help from an experienced attorney. The caveat to being an executor is that once you accept the responsibility, you also [...]

The Top 2 Ways the Court Gets Involved in Your Estate, and How to Avoid Them

By |2020-02-11T22:40:20+00:00January 28th, 2020|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, GUARDIANSHIP, PROBATE|

No one wants unnecessary court involvement in their life. But without careful and proactive estate planning, chances are that some aspect of your estate will end up being decided there. Here are two of the most common ways court proceedings can make their way into the management and distribution of your assets, along with the estate planning measures you can take to avoid them. Guardianship and conservatorship If you experience an inability to make decisions on your own behalf, also known as legal incapacity, and you don’t have provisions for what to do in this situation clearly outlined in your [...]

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

By |2019-11-07T11:01:53+00:00November 26th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Wills|

Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions.  Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when it’s needed. Estate Planning Myth #1 – You Don’t Need an Estate Plan Because Your Spouse Will Inherit Everything A common belief is that if you’re married and you don’t have a will or a trust, your spouse will still inherit everything.  Unfortunately this is not always the case.  Who will inherit your estate even if you’re married depends [...]

3 Ways to Minimize Estate Planning Fees

By |2019-11-07T11:01:21+00:00November 19th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Wills|

Today, it is impossible to put together even a simple estate plan without the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Why? Because estate planning laws vary greatly from state to state and these laws are extremely convoluted and constantly changing. One wrong word, one missing signature, or one procedure not followed to the letter of the law can partially or completely invalidate a Last Will and Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Advance Medical Directive, Living Will, or Durable Power of Attorney.  Though attorney fees may feel expensive, they’re actually not when viewed in light of the service and protections provided.  [...]

Baltimore Register of Wills Can’t Find Her Father’s Original Last Will, Will Your Family Be Able to Find Yours?

By |2019-11-06T22:31:23+00:00November 5th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE|

While it’s not unusual for an original last will and testament to be misplaced, it is when your daughter happens to be the Register of Wills for Baltimore City. What is a Register of Wills? In Maryland, the Register of Wills is an elected official in each county and the City of Baltimore who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the estates of deceased persons during the probate process.  As an added benefit, each Maryland Register of Wills provides safekeeping for the last will and testaments of living persons. Why is it Important to Locate an Original Last Will? [...]

When is probate necessary?

By |2019-09-10T14:24:32+00:00July 16th, 2019|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE|

 Whether or not you have an estate plan in place, you have likely heard the term “probate”. Probate is the legal process by which a deceased individual’s assets are distributed under court supervision. This process is necessary to distribute assets that are solely in the name of the deceased person. Probate is governed by state law. Avoiding Probate One of the appealing aspects of putting together an estate plan is to avoid probate. One way to avoid the probate process is to ensure that no assets will be titled in the decedent’s name, or providing for an automatic transfer of [...]

Wills, Trusts & Dying Intestate: How They Differ

By |2019-09-10T14:24:32+00:00June 4th, 2019|Categories: Design, ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Trusts|Tags: , |

Most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is a good thing. However, many of us don’t take the steps to have an estate plan prepared because we don’t understand the nuances between wills and trusts – and dying without either. Here’s what will generally happen if you die, intestate (without a will or trust), with a will, and with a trust. For this example, we’re assuming you have children, but no spouse: If you should die intestate, your estate will go through probate and all the world will know what you owned, what you owed, and [...]

Four Reasons Why Estate Planning Isn’t Just for the Top 1 Percent

By |2019-09-10T14:24:32+00:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Design, ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Trusts|Tags: |

There is a common misconception that estate plans are only for the ultra-rich - the top 1 percent, 10%, 20%, or some other arbitrary determination of “enough” money.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. People at all income and wealth levels can benefit from a comprehensive estate plan. Sadly, many have not sat down to put their legal house in order. According to a 2016 Gallup News Poll more than half of all Americans do not have a will, let alone a comprehensive estate plan. These same results were identified by WealthCounsel in its Estate Planning Awareness [...]

DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE FROM COURT INTERFERENCE!

By |2019-09-10T14:24:35+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE|Tags: , |

While the rest of the nation celebrates its independence on July 4th, you can rest assured that you too can declare independence for your family — from court interference. Life can be unpredictable. Whether it is a financial issue, the birth or adoption of a child, sickness or incapacity, it is important to be prepared with proper estate planning. In fact, failure to put together a comprehensive estate plan can leave you and your loved ones at the mercy of the court when it comes to distributing assets or caring for a minor or sick family member. Estate Planning Basics [...]

THE BIGGEST THREATS TO SUCCESSFUL ESTATE PLANNING

By |2019-09-10T14:24:35+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE|Tags: , , |

Poor estate planning is a recipe for disaster. Look no further than Dickens’ Bleak House—or a telenovela—to witness the tragedy and melodrama inadequate estate planning can cause. While having your estate planning documents prepared is the first hurdle to overcoming these types of disasters, there are several threats that lurk around the corner that might derail your wishes. Family Conflict According to a TF Wealth survey of over 100 estate planning professionals, family conflict is the number one risk to a peaceful inheritance. If children are treated differently under the estate plan, there is often an assumption that a mistake was made [...]

FINDING THE RIGHT FIT: QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE WILLS AND TRUSTS ATTORNEYS

By |2019-09-10T14:24:35+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, Trusts|

It goes without saying that estate planning is incredibly important and is more than just having a will or a trust. Estate planning offers a sense of security for you and your loved ones that your wishes will be carried out. With such an important and personal endeavor, selecting the right Wills and Trusts Attorney is crucial. Doing your homework, familiarizing yourself with the options and asking questions will be critical to getting someone who’s actively looking out for your interests. There are several key factors you should consider when interviewing potential attorneys and ultimately deciding which one to hire. [...]

DEBT AFTER DEATH? WHY YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT IT WHEN ESTATE PLANNING

By |2019-09-10T14:24:35+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE|Tags: , , |

Debt After Death: Why You Should Think About It When Estate Planning If you carry debt, do not assume that your death or incapacity will make it automatically disappear. To the contrary, the money you owe may eat away at the assets you were planning to leave to your heirs or — if you owe a large amount of money — may wipe out your estate completely. Debt comes in many different forms including credit cards, student loans, car payments, mortgages, and other financial obligations. Not Just About Assets Estate planning lets you name people you trust to manage your affairs if you’re unable [...]