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Category Archives: Estate Planning

When are estate plan updates necessary?

An Estate Plan Should Not Be a Set-It-and-Forget-It Endeavor

By Andre O. McDonald |

As we all know, life happens. There is really nothing we can do about it. However, some of the most common life events can have a dramatic effect on your estate plan. If you think your estate plan is like a slow cooker and you can set it and forget it, you and your… Read More »

3 estate planning lessons from Encanto

Estate Planning Lessons We Can Learn from Encanto

By Andre O. McDonald |

Not only is Disney’s award-winning animated film Encanto hugely entertaining, it also contains the following valuable estate planning lessons: Leaving a family legacy is important and can have an impact beyond your immediate family. Be sure to consider the significance of multigenerational planning. Treating each beneficiary as a unique person is essential. Naming the… Read More »

4 elements of an estate plan that all seniors need

A Senior’s Guide to Estate Planning

By Andre O. McDonald |

Most older adults acknowledge that estate planning is essential. Yet, nearly half of Americans age 55 or more do not have a will, and even fewer have all the elements of an estate plan, including designated powers of attorney, a living will, or health care directives. These documents help guide your representatives to provide… Read More »

I plan on leaving my house to my child in my will. Do I need to worry that they can take my home while I'm still alive?

If I Give My Home to My Child in My Will, Can They Take My Home While I Am Still Alive?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Here’s an interesting estate planning question: “I’m planning on leaving my house to my child in my will. However, does this allow them to take my home while I’m still alive?” The short answer to this question is no. Naming your child as the recipient of your home in your will does not give… Read More »

Domestic Partnership vs. Marriage: Rights in Estate Planning

Does a Domestic Partner Have the Same Rights as a Spouse When It Comes to Estate Planning?

By Andre O. McDonald |

The short answer to whether couples in a domestic partnership have the same rights as married couples when it comes to estate planning is … probably not. To a large extent, the state in which you live, and maybe even the city or county, determines domestic partners’ rights. What Is a Domestic Partnership? Everyone… Read More »

Electronic wills: what, where and why would I use one?

Electronic Wills: What are they, and should I use one?

By Andre O. McDonald |

What Are Electronic Wills? It was not very long ago that all legal documents were printed on paper and signed with a pen. But in today’s world, where we sign commercial contracts, form and run businesses, and buy everything from groceries to cars online, it seems almost prehistoric for state laws to require that… Read More »

Transfer on Death Deed: Pros and Cons

Using Beneficiary/Transfer-on-Death Deeds  

By Andre O. McDonald |

What Is a Transfer on Death Deed? If you own real property, such as a home, in your sole name but you have not created a trust and transferred your property’s title to the trust, it is virtually guaranteed that your beneficiaries (or heirs) will have to deal with probate after your death. If… Read More »

How do personal injury settlements impact SSDI and/or SSI?

Do Personal Injury Settlements Affect My SSDI or SSI?

By Andre O. McDonald |

The answers to many an important questions about the effects of personal injury settlements on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly benefits you currently receive, or whether you should apply for SSDI benefits and pursue a personal injury claim simultaneously, are all situationally dependent. However, there is a general short… Read More »

what is a springing power of attorney?

Springing Financial Power of Attorney 

By Andre O. McDonald |

Estate planning is about more than preparing for the inevitable. A good estate plan should also consider the unexpected. Your plan may have detailed instructions for what happens when you are no longer around, but what if something goes wrong while you are alive? If you can no longer manage your affairs, you will… Read More »

New FAFSA Rules: What Do They Mean for Grandparents

Changes to the FAFSA Form (and What It Means for Grandparent-Funded 529s)

By Andre O. McDonald |

For grandparents who want to leave a legacy to their grandchildren, the gift of a 529 college savings plan is an option. Not only can opening a 529 plan account help a grandchild with educational expenses, it can also help grandparents with their estate planning goals. In the past, grandparent 529 plans had the… 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.

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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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