Your Estate Planning Documents Are Done. Now What?

Our firm maintains relationships with financial and tax advisors in order to assist us in answering complex questions in these areas of your estate planning. The following article was written by our friend Brian Kuhn of PSG Clarity and titled "Your Legal Documents Are Done, Now What? – A Financial Planner’s Perspective". Brian has graciously allowed me to reprint the article here. For all of your financial and Read More

Avoiding Probate: Is It Worth It?

Our firm maintains relationships with financial and tax advisors in order to assist us in answering complex questions in these areas of your estate planning. The following article first appeared in our friend Kevin O'Reilly of The Emerald Financial Group's monthly newsletter entitled "Your Financial Compass". Kevin has graciously agreed to allow me to reprint it here. For all of your financial and tax planning needs, Read More

Estate Planning Checklist – How to Know If You Need It

How do you know if you need to do estate planning? The easy answer is just about everyone needs to do some form of planning. Fellow ElderCounsel member Nicole Wipp recently developed a brilliant checklist for determining if you need estate planning. With her permission, here are eighteen estate planning checklist questions to help you learn whether you need estate planning.  (These cover the most common Read More

Estate Planning Lessons from “Furious 7”

They wreck a lot of cars in the movie "Furious 7". That probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. I took my wife to see the latest installment of the action film series - because she has the movie interests of a 14 year old boy. Noel has always been amongst the first in line for movies such as any Rambo, The Expendables, and most of the Fast series. The movie has done fabulously well at the box office even Read More

Will Maryland’s Inheritance Tax Force You to Relocate?

Only two states - Maryland and New Jersey - impose an inheritance tax as well as an estate tax on top of the Federal estate tax. Many states are eliminating or have eliminated death taxes altogether. But only these two impose both additional state level death taxes on top of the federal tax. Recently, Maryland signed into law legislation that gradually brings the state estate tax in line with the federal tax. Read More

Long Term Healthcare Insurance – Solution or Dead End?

In my estate planning seminars I often tell potential clients that an important consideration for their long term healthcare is to purchase as much insurance as they can afford as early as they are able to do so. Recent events have caused me to question whether or not that remains true. More and more insurance companies are deciding not to offer long term healthcare insurance (LTHI)  because it is not a profitable Read More

Not Quite Dead Yet Documents

Who can make decisions on my behalf if I am not able to do so for myself? That’s the central question we all should be asking ourselves as we become adults. It’s a grown up issue that requires grown up thought and decisions. Failure to designate someone who is competent and trusted to uphold your wishes is a vital mistake. The moment when your family needs clarity the most is not the time to try and figure this issue Read More

Proving the Will: The Meaning of Probate

In my estate planning seminars, one of the first subjects we address is estate probate. In fact, at the last seminar, a guest asked what was the origin of the word “probate”? I had to confess that I didn’t know. My assistant looked it up during the dinner and we were able to report back that it comes from the Latin word “probare” meaning to test or prove. So to probate a Will is to “prove” it officially so as to Read More

Shacking Up? Protect Yourself!

In my family law practice I am increasingly being asked to help couples develop a "no-nup" agreement - essentially a prenuptial agreement for couples that have no intention of marrying. It seems that this increase is caused by a) more couples simply putting off or eschewing marriage all together, and b) older couples who have been burned by divorce previously and want to avoid it this time around. In some Read More

Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

What are the estate planning implications of gifting property or money to your heirs? I often get this question during the seminars I give regarding estate planning and Medicaid eligibility. People want to know what happens if I give my heirs some money now? How does that effect my estate? How is it taxed? And is it a good idea? And what is the origin of that silly phrase “Don’t look a gift horse in the Read More