5 Key Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

When engaging in estate planning and wealth preservation efforts, you will undoubtedly be told about revocable living trusts as one of many options available to you. This particular type of trust offers a variety of benefits that can’t be found with wills, irrevocable trusts, or other options, which is why they are so popular. Learn about some of the specific benefits of this option to see if it is a good choice for Read More

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

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

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