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Recent Blog Posts

Would your advance directive be readily available in an emergency?

Doctors Unable to Obtain Advance Directives from Electronic Health Records Systems

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

After procrastinating for several years, you decided to engage an estate planning attorney to prepare your estate plan. Now that the plan is completed, where do you store your Advance Directive /Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will and HIPPA Authorization so that they are available in an emergency? At McDonald Law Firm, we… Read More »

Estate Planning for New Parents: How to Protect Your Sweet New Baby

New Baby? The Importance of Estate Planning for New Parents

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

Estate planning is often one item that gets pushed back on nearly everyone’s to-do list. The reasons you might be delaying vary: lack of time, not thinking you have enough assets, not knowing how to start, or fear of contemplating death. Whatever the reason for not putting an estate plan together up until now,… Read More »

what to do after the death of a spouse

What to Do After the Death of a Spouse

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

When a spouse passes away, thinking about “the estate” might be the last thing on your mind. And while it’s necessary to give yourself ample time to process the loss of a love one, it’s also imperative that you speak with your estate planning attorney so that you know what to do after the… Read More »

What is an estate plan? Probably not what you think...

What is an Estate, and Do I REALLY Need an Estate Plan?

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

I often get asked – “what is an estate?” You don’t need to have a summer house in Ocean City or a private art collection big enough to rival the Baltimore Museum of Art to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the… Read More »

3 Estate Planning Myths You Should be Aware of in Columbia, MD and beyond

Estate Planning Myths: Why Me, Why Now … and is a Will Enough?

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

Marylanders – you have worked hard for years, have family members and friends you care about, and have approached a time in your life when “estate planning” sounds like something you should do … but you are not exactly sure why. You may feel that you are not wealthy enough – or not old… Read More »

Joint Property Ownership: Worth the Risk?

6 Dangers of Joint Property Ownership

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

In an effort to avoid the some assets passing through the probate process, some people often set up bank accounts or real estate so that these assets are owned jointly with a spouse or other family member. The appeal of joint property ownership is that when one owner dies, the surviving owner will automatically… Read More »

12 Executor Duties You Can't Ignore When Someone Dies

12 Executor Duties You Can’t Ignore When a Loved One Dies

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

If you’ve been appointed an executor of a loved one’s estate, or a successor trustee, and that person dies, your grief – not to mention your to-do list, including tasks ranging from planning the funeral, coordinating relatives coming in from out of town and (eventually) meeting with a trust administration or probate lawyer –… Read More »

QTIP Trust: Estate Planning Tools for Wealthy Married Couples in Howard County, Maryland

Lifetime QTIP Trusts – The Gift That Keeps Giving

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

Estate planning for married couples can be tricky when one spouse is significantly wealthier than the other and each spouse wants different beneficiaries to ultimately inherit their estate.  One solution to this problem is the Lifetime QTIP Trust.   What is a Lifetime QTIP Trust?   One traditional estate planning model for married couples… Read More »

What powers does a trust protector need?

3 “Super Powers” Every Trust Protector Should Have

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

Today, many estate plans in Maryland contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse’s lifetime, and then for the benefit of several generations.  Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is important that they include a trust protector who will have the ability to adjust the trust… Read More »

How to Avoid a Will Contest

4 Tips for Avoiding a Trust or Will Contest

By McDonald Law Firm, LLC |

A trust or will contest can derail your final wishes, rapidly deplete your estate, and tear your loved ones apart. If you are concerns about the possibility of challenges to your estate plan, the best way to prevent a trust or will contest is with proper planning.   4 Ways to help your family… Read More »

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For help with estate planning, elder law or business planning needs throughout Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore County; and Baltimore City, contact McDonald Law Firm, LLC.

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