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Category Archives: Estate Planning

What is trust funding?

Trust Funding: Is Everything Titled Correctly?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Working with an attorney to draft a trust agreement for estate planning purposes is an important step. But just getting the document drafted and signed is not enough. For any trust to be effective, you must complete the process of funding your trust as soon as you can. But what exactly is trust funding?… Read More »

Why do I need an estate plan?

Do I Need an Estate Plan?

By Andre O. McDonald |

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2021 survey conducted by Caring.com, only 33 percent of adults in the United States… Read More »

Understanding how the Court handles estate administration

How Does the Court Handle Estate Administration?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Probate is the method by which judicial officials, including probate judges, process a decedent’s will. While state probate laws may vary, the general process of estate administration is quite similar across the country. Probate is the process of proving wills for decedents. A probate judge will also oversee cases where the deceased person did… Read More »

The importance of estate planning for single peoplel

The Underestimated Importance of Estate Planning for Single People

By Andre O. McDonald |

As a single individual, you may feel overwhelmed when you think about who will step in and make decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself and who will receive your money and property when you die. You may consider your parents or siblings, but depending on whether they are living and… Read More »

Separate vs. Community Property: Why it Matters

Is Our Home Community Property or Separate Property, and Why Does It Matter?

By Andre O. McDonald |

When two people get married, the property they obtain during their marriage is called marital property. This includes anything from real property like homes and rental properties, to stock options, investment accounts, heirlooms, and employment income. A common assumption is that spouses want to share their property with each other. This assumption is not… Read More »

Conservatorship: The Lessons We Can Learn from Britney Spears

Britney Spears: A Cautionary Tale about Conservatorship

By Andre O. McDonald |

Even if you do not listen to pop music, it has been hard to ignore the recent news about Britney Spears, her controversial conservatorship, and the #FreeBritney movement trending on social media. What is this movement all about? And why should average Americans care? In 2008, pop singer and superstar performer Britney Spears had… Read More »

Why you need to factor your vacation home into your estate plan

Estate Planning Considerations for the Family Vacation Home

By Andre O. McDonald |

Many families enjoy spending time in their family vacation home. Sharing time and creating memories is the hallmark of such properties, and often there is a desire to preserve the home’s ownership within the family system for generations to come. Yet, even seemingly harmonious families can experience discord and exasperation when parents are no… Read More »

Revocable living trust: is joint or separate right for you and your spouse?

What Is a Separate Revocable Living Trust?

By Andre O. McDonald |

When a couple engages in foundational estate planning, one of the first questions addressed by estate planning attorneys is whether it makes sense for the couple to use a revocable living trust (RLT) as a part of their plan. If using an RLT makes sense, an important follow-up question to married couples should be… Read More »

What is basis, and what does it mean for my estate plan and taxes?

What is Basis, and How Does it Impact My Estate Plan & Taxes?

By Andre O. McDonald |

“Basis” is a term used frequently in tax law. But for many, the term is unfamiliar and intimidating—perhaps something they feel is better left to a certified public accountant to worry about. Nevertheless, a basic understanding of the concept can be very helpful for understanding important estate planning strategies used by your attorney and… Read More »

When is a financial POA (power of attorney) not a valid option?

When You May Not Be Able to Use a Financial Power of Attorney

By Andre O. McDonald |

Besides directing what happens to your finances when you pass away, a comprehensive estate plan also addresses the possibility that you could become unable to handle your financial affairs while you are still alive. You may have signed a financial power of attorney that allows one or more people to act on your behalf… 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

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(By Appointment Only)

7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800 West
Bethesda, MD 20814

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Washington, DC 20037

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