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Category Archives: Estate Planning

What to do when a loved one dies: 6 practical steps

What To Do When a Loved One Dies

By Andre O. McDonald |

When a family member or other loved one dies, grief and shock can sometimes be overwhelming. The last thing most people want to think about is making phone calls or funeral arrangements. Some things do not need to be done immediately, but there are some steps that should be taken soon after the loss… Read More »

What is an advance directive, and why do you need one?

What is an Advance Directive?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Jack stands at the door of Jill’s nursing home room, tears streaming down his face. The medical staff just finished inserting a feeding tube into Jill – an act Jack knew she didn’t want. Unfortunately, Jill couldn’t express her wishes due to advanced dementia, and she had no legal documents that expressed her wishes… Read More »

HELP! I've been appointed trustee ... now what?

What to Do if You’re Appointed Trustee

By Andre O. McDonald |

Your friend Rose has created a trust and she would like you to be her trustee. You want to help, but you’re concerned about all that responsibility that comes along with being appointed trustee. You would be managing Rose’s property for her and for others whom she names as beneficiaries. You might be paying… Read More »

Appointed guardian of property for a loved one in Maryland? Here's what to do next.

What to Do if You’re Appointed Guardian of Property in Maryland

By Andre O. McDonald |

Your grandfather Martin can no longer make decisions on his own. A court appoints you to be Martin’s guardian of property, to manage Martin’s assets. You become Martin’s “fiduciary.” The law now requires you to act to a high standard of good faith and honesty. Appointed Guardian of Property in Maryland: What Now? There’s… Read More »

Tips to help you manage someone else's social security and/or Veteran's benefits

How to Manage Someone Else’s Social Security or Veteran’s Benefits

By Andre O. McDonald |

Let’s assume you have been appointed to help manage someone else’s social security benefits. As an example, let’s pretend it’s you forty-year-old nephew, Roberto. In the Social Security system, you’ll be called Roberto’s “representative payee.” The situation is similar if you’re appointed to help your elderly father, who has dementia, manage his Veteran’s benefit… Read More »

do married couples need separate estate plans?

Do Married Couples Need Separate Estate Plans?

By Andre O. McDonald |

The average American family has changed a great deal over the last few decades. The assumption that a couple will share finances, tax obligations, and a last name is one that does not necessarily apply in the 21st century. There are more options than ever before to keep your finances, identity, and future plans… Read More »

The importance of financial power of attorney

What is a financial power of attorney?

By Andre O. McDonald |

The wealth, property, and investments we accrue over a lifetime are often significant. While you have carefully managed your finances through the years, there may eventually come a time when you cannot handle such decisions. Planning for the likelihood that you are unable to manage your financial affairs is paramount, thus it’s important to… Read More »

4 Things You Must Do to Protect Your Family When Preparing for Deployment

Preparing for Deployment? Here’s What You Need to Do

By Andre O. McDonald |

You just received your orders, and you will be deployed shortly. No matter the time frame, there is still time to make sure your affairs are in order. Here are 4 things you need to do to safeguard your family’s future while preparing for deployment. 4 Things You Need to Do When Preparing for… Read More »

Can I make a video will rather than a written document?

Can I make a video will?

By Andre O. McDonald |

In the golden age of the smartphone, you’re never far from a camera. This has made the sharing of videos and photos easier than ever before. Easy access to a quality camera has led many people to wonder: can I make a video will? More importantly, folks are curious about whether such a “will”… Read More »

Does a revocable living trust protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit? The answer may surprise you...

Does a Revocable Living Trust Protect Me Against Lawsuits? (Hint: NO!)

By Andre O. McDonald |

Many people believe that once they set up a Revocable Living Trust and transfer assets into the trust, those assets are protected from lawsuits. This is absolutely not true. While Trusts commonly provide asset protection for beneficiaries, few trusts protect assets owned by the person who created the trust.   No Immediate Asset Protection? … Read More »

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For help with estate planning, special needs planning, elder law or Veteran's Pension 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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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

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