Who Should Raise My Kids?: 6 Things to Consider When Naming a Potential Guardian

If you have minor children, one of the most important aspects of any estate plan is going to be the naming of a legal guardian. For many people, this can be a very difficult decision. If both parents die or become incapacitated, however, having a guardian named will help ensure your children are properly taken care of without delay. The following six things should be considered when choosing who to name as Read More

Maryland Estate Planning: Understanding the Role of the Executor

When someone has a will written up, they need to choose someone to be the executor. Many people consider this a great honor, as it means that the individual has a lot of trust in them. This is not just an honorary designation, however. An executor will have a number of very important legal obligations upon the death of the individual. Before accepting this responsibility, learn about some of the key duties you will Read More

A Brief Q&A on the Maryland Probate Process

The Maryland probate process involves proving that a deceased person’s will is valid and administering property or debts in accordance with the valid will. Depending on the amount of property or debt, the probate process can be complicated. The following information will help you work toward understanding the Maryland probate process. What is a will? A will is a legal document that is signed by the decedent in Read More

5 Reasons a DIY Will is a Bad Idea!

I am astounded how often I am asked what I think about using an online resource like LegalZoom to prepare a Will or other estate planning documents. Really? My normal response is to ask whether or not the person would try DIY dentistry on themselves or a loved one. Why would you want to trust that an on-line questionnaire could gather enough information from you about your family and your financial assets to prepare Read More

The Valuable Estate Planning Lesson I Learned at a Funeral

I have attend a few too many funerals lately. Not the kind of thing one likes to do or frankly expects to learn anything from - at least from an estate planning perspective. But just this past weekend I attended the funeral for a dear friend's mother, who I knew well herself. And while she did not have a large estate to deal with, she took the time to plan in a way that probably was much more important. She planned Read More

Long Term Health Care – the Costs Just Might Kill You!

You simply can not afford to grow old in Maryland - not with what it costs for long term health care i.e. assisted living or nursing home care. That is unless you do a heck of a lot of financial planning now, hit the lottery, or work until you die. One is not desirable, one is not likely, and one seems difficult. But you have to do it because nobody else is and the crisis is getting worse. Every year Genworth Read More

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