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Author Archives: Andre O. McDonald

Understanding the purpose of a Residuary Clause in estate planning

What Is a Residuary Clause and Why Is It Important?

By Andre O. McDonald |

When developing your estate plan, it is nearly impossible to address every account or property you own. There are sure to be some things you unintentionally overlook. However, by including a residuary clause, you can intentionally disburse any remaining items inadvertently left over during the estate or trust administration process to a named beneficiary… Read More »

Understanding what happens to real estate with a mortgage after death

What Happens to Real Estate With a Mortgage When I Die?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Your mortgage, like the rest of your debt, does not simply disappear when you die. If you leave your home that has an outstanding loan to a beneficiary in your will or trust, your beneficiary will inherit not only the property, but also the outstanding debt. They may have the right to keep the… Read More »

Understanding the responsibilities and duties of a trustee

How Much Authority Does a Trustee Have Over the Stuff in My Trust?

By Andre O. McDonald |

A trustee is a person or entity responsible for managing and administering your trust according to your instructions and in accordance with state law. They are considered a fiduciary (meaning they are held to a higher standard of care and owe certain duties to the beneficiaries). As a fiduciary, a trustee must protect the… Read More »

Understanding the differences between survivor's trust vs. decedant trust

I’m a Survivor . . . and Now I Have My Own Trust?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Many married couples share almost everything, including finances. This may be reflected in their estate plan by using one joint living trust instead of two separate trusts. Separate trusts can provide greater flexibility, but a joint trust can be structured so that when one spouse passes away, the trust is split into two subtrusts:… Read More »

Understanding the pros and cons of a testamentary trust

Testamentary Trusts: The Best of Both Worlds?

By Andre O. McDonald |

You have several different options when it comes to creating the right estate plan. Some people believe that a revocable living trust is the best way to go, while others think that a last will and testament (commonly known as a will) is best under certain circumstances. Others may find that a combination of… Read More »

Understanding the purpose of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount (DSUEA) in Estate Planning

What Is the “Last Surviving Spouse Rule”?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Estate planning can be a significant part of successful financial management, especially for married couples. One key consideration is minimizing estate taxes, which can substantially affect the distribution of money and property to a married couple’s loved ones. Part of this is understanding the purpose of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount, commonly referred… Read More »

Understanding the 2024 Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Standards

2024 Standard Protections for Spouses of Medicaid Applicants

By Andre O. McDonald |

Each fall, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) renews the federal guidelines that seek to protect individuals whose spouses are applying for or receiving Medicaid long-term care benefits. These protections, known as the Spousal Impoverishment Standards, help to support the financial well-being of seniors who continue residing at home while their spouse on… Read More »

Can a nursing home take your house?

Protecting Your House After You Move into a Nursing Home

By Andre O. McDonald |

When people start thinking about aging and the looming potential for needing long-term nursing care that comes along with it, one of the primary questions people have is: can a nursing home take your house? While you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid for nursing home… Read More »

Can you change an irrevocable trust? Read more to find out.

3 Examples of When an Irrevocable Trust Can—and Should—Be Modified

By Andre O. McDonald |

A frequently asked question that we receive is: “Can you change an irrevocable trust?“ You may be surprised to find out that YES, they can indeed be modified. If you did not know this, you are not alone. The name lends itself to that very misconception. However, the truth is that changes in laws,… Read More »

Understanding the implications of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)

How the Corporate Transparency Act May Impact Your Estate Plan

By Andre O. McDonald |

Starting on January 1, 2024, under a new law called the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), owners of certain business entities must file a report with the federal government including details regarding the ownership of their entity. The Corporate Transparency Act was enacted to help combat money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud, and other… Read More »

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

McDonald Law Firm, LLC

Columbia Office

10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy, #420
Columbia, MD 21044-3563

Bethesda Office:

(By Appointment Only)

7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800 West
Bethesda, MD 20814

Washington, DC Office:

2101 L Street, N.W., Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037

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