What Happens to Your Student Loans When You Die?

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that student loans are bigger and more common than ever before. There is currently over $1.45 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the United States, and 42 million Americans have some amount of student loan debt (the average borrower owes over $30,000). Despite student loans being incredibly common, there is still a lot student loan borrowers don’t know Read More

Spring is in the Air! There’s No Better Time to Clear Out Your To Do List

Spring is a time of renewal, new growth, and possibility. Although many of us experience a burst of energy as the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, it often doesn’t last long. In just a few weeks, our lives will begin to bustle with summertime preparations and an ever-growing To Do list. So, how can we make the most of the calm before the storm? Clear out those lingering tasks that have been sitting on Read More

Your Digital Footprint: 5 Steps to Managing the Virtual Afterlife

1. Assessing Your Impact: What’s Included in Your Digital Footprint? You may not realize this, but throughout your lifetime, you have been making an imprint on the virtual world. When you pass, your digital footprint will remain behind. What’s included in your digital footprint? Personal correspondence (emails, text messages, etc.) File and documents (both on your devices and in the cloud) Read More

Hiring a Professional Pays

In the United States, the majority of individuals don’t have any estate planning documents in place. Why is that? For some, it is difficult and uncomfortable to confront their own mortality. For others, there is a perception that the estate planning process is expensive or only meant for people who are already “successful.” To address this phenomenon, there have been a wave of “budget” and “DIY” estate planning Read More

A Clear and Compassionate Plan Can Help Avoid Hurt

On March 4, 2019, America lost one of its favorite heartthrobs. Luke Perry (Coy Luther Perry, III) passed away after a tragic and unexpected illness. At the age of 52, he suffered a stroke, was hospitalized, and five days later, when it was clear he would not recover, his family made the decision to remove life support. In this devastating time, it seems that Luke Perry’s family was able to take swift and decisive Read More

Your Blended Family is Unique: Tailoring Estate Planning to Meet Your Needs

A blended family is one with children from more than one partnership. For many families, this may be a second marriage in which one or both partners have children from a previous relationship. In some blended families, the second marriage also results in children. Blended families are very common, but the default laws in Maryland likely do not reflect how you want to provide for your loved ones after you pass. This Read More

What Every New Parent Needs to Know About Estate Planning

As a parent and an estate planning attorney, I spend quite a lot of time thinking about how to protect my children and provide for their futures using estate planning tools. But, my children are grown. For new parents, I know that estate planning may be the furthest thing from your mind. As a parent (or grandparent!), there are a thousand things to worry about. Having children in your life creates responsibility, Read More

3 Key Things Your Will Doesn’t Accomplish

When most people think about the estate planning process, they think about one thing: writing a will. Many people assume that more in depth estate planning is reserved only for the very wealthy, or they may not even be aware of the numerous other estate planning tools available to them. While wills are certainly essential tools, they do not necessarily accomplish everything you might expect. Read below to learn 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