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Category Archives: Estate Planning

What to do if you miss a required minimum distribution on your retirement account(s)

Missed a Required Minimum Distribution? Here Is How to Fix It

By Andre O. McDonald |

The retirement years are supposed to be carefree—but what if you neglected to take the required minimum distribution (RMD) from one or more of your retirement accounts or took a distribution that was lower than required? This could be a costly mistake resulting in a tax penalty of 50% of the amount of the… Read More »

Adoption and estate planning: How to create an estate plan that protects your new family member

Adoption and Estate Planning: How to Take Care of Your New Family Member

By Andre O. McDonald |

November is National Adoption Month, which is aimed at raising awareness about adoption and the children who need permanent, loving homes. Thousands of children are adopted each year, bringing much joy to their adoptive families. If you are in the process of adopting or have recently adopted a child, it is a great time… Read More »

The bottom line about why you need an estate plan

Why You Need an Estate Plan

By Andre O. McDonald |

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand why you need an estate plan by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not… Read More »

How to prevent identity theft of a deceased loved one

9 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft of a Deceased Loved One

By Andre O. McDonald |

Identity theft is the last thing a grieving family should have to worry about after the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, identity thieves have increasingly targeted the identities of deceased people, using their names and other identifying information to get credit cards, apply for loans, collect refunds based on fraudulent tax returns, and… Read More »

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 »

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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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