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Category Archives: Estate Planning

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 »

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 »

AI Estate Planning programs: worth the risk?

Can Artificial Intelligence Programs Write Basic Estate Planning Documents?

By Andre O. McDonald |

With the increased coverage of artificial intelligence (AI) and all of the applications it can have in our everyday lives, some people may wonder whether an AI estate planning program can create their documents for them. While AI may be able to generate basic estate planning documents, including wills and trusts, there is no… Read More »

Understanding the Michael Oher conservatorship controversy

Blindsided: The Michael Oher Conservatorship Controversy Explained

By Andre O. McDonald |

Michael Oher has had a remarkable life so far. Born to a single mother struggling with addiction and growing up in and out of foster care, Oher went on to star as a University of Mississippi football player and was selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens…. 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

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(By Appointment Only)

7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800 West
Bethesda, MD 20814

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

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