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Category Archives: Estate Planning

prenuptial agreement vs. will or trust - what's the right choice?

The Difference Between a Prenuptial Agreement and a Will or Trust

By Andre O. McDonald |

There was a time when most people heard the term “prenuptial agreement” only when watching soap operas or Hollywood movies or reading a novel. For many of us, prenuptial agreements seemed to be reserved only for the ultra-wealthy, where the continuation of dynastic family wealth was at stake. Today, however, prenuptial agreements are much… Read More »

Annual exclusion gifts: What they are and how to use them

Annual Exclusion Gifts: Give Gifts That Your Family Will Love (but the IRS Won’t Tax)

By Andre O. McDonald |

Do not let constant political and financial speculation prevent you from making tax-free medical payment, educational and annual exclusion gifts to or for the benefit of your loved ones. How to Make Annual Exclusion Gifts Annual exclusion gifts are transfers of money or property in an amount or value that does not exceed the… Read More »

Estate Planning for the LGBTQIA+ Community

Why Estate Planning for the LGBTQIA+ Community is Critical

By Andre O. McDonald |

Whatever your orientation, estate planning is crucial to protect your loved ones. Estate planning for the LGBTQIA+ community can legally protect against discrimination even if others are reluctant to recognize your relationship and your desire to permit your partner to make decisions for your care should you become unable to. Estate planning can also… Read More »

Understanding the different types of trusts

Understanding the Different Types of Trusts: Living, Testamentary, and Constructive

By Andre O. McDonald |

In the world of estate planning, terms that refer to legal documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives can be confusing and even overwhelming at times. What is a will, and how does it differ from a trust? What distinguishes a springing power of attorney from an immediate power of… Read More »

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT) and Wealth Management

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts and Wealth Management

By Andre O. McDonald |

It may be time to reconsider how you plan to pass generational wealth to your heirs since the federal estate tax exemption allowance appears to be in jeopardy of being lowered. Congress is proposing to lower the current estate tax exemption from $11.7 million to $3.5 million for individuals and $23.4 million to $7… Read More »

Different Types of Life Insurance, and Which One is Right For You

Types of Life Insurance and How They Can Be Used in Estate Planning

By Andre O. McDonald |

Many of us do not start thinking about life insurance until we get our first full-time job and the company’s human resources representative asks us if we want to enroll in the employer’s group life insurance policy. Most people think “Why not?” and sign up, naming a family member as the beneficiary of their… Read More »

Understanding the estate planning implications of common law marriage

To Have, but Not to Hold? Common Law Marriage and Estate Planning

By Andre O. McDonald |

Marriage as a legal institution has taken a variety of forms throughout history. As society evolves, how we identify marriage in our society also changes. In some states, a couple may be deemed married without having participated in judicial or religious ceremonies, called common law marriage. This creates some potential issues when planning for… Read More »

The problems created by simultaneous deaths of spouses

Simultaneous Deaths: What If My Spouse and I Die at the Same Time?

By Andre O. McDonald |

The chances of a married couple dying in a common accident or within a very short time of one another are probably quite slim. However, it does happen. And it happens frequently enough that most states have laws to address the issue and the problems that can arise from simultaneous deaths. What are these… Read More »

Selling real estate of a deceased loved one

Selling Real Estate After The Death of a Loved One: Things You Need to Know

By Andre O. McDonald |

After the death of a loved one, such as a parent, there are a variety of tasks that must be handled to wrap up your loved one’s final affairs. Selling real estate that belonged to your deceased loved one is one of the more daunting ones. But before you call a real estate agent,… Read More »

What is a will? And what can (and can't) it do?

What is a Will?

By Andre O. McDonald |

If you asked a group of people, “What is a will?” you may be surprised to find out that many people do not know exactly what a will can (and cannot do). However, having a clear understanding of the purpose, benefits, and limitations of a will is extremely important. What is a Will, and… 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

Washington, DC Office:

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

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