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5 Reasons You May Need to Update Your Estate Plan

5 Life Events That Require You to Update Your Estate Plan

By Andre O. McDonald |

An estate plan is a magical thing: it allows you to maintain control of your assets, yet protects you should you become incapacitated. It takes care of your family and pets. And, if carefully crafted, it reduces fees, taxes, stress, and time delays. Your estate plan can even keep your family and financial affairs… Read More »

The danger of taking legal advice from nonlawyers

Beware of Nonlawyers Acting Like Lawyers

By Andre O. McDonald |

When people think about creating an estate plan, they may think it just involves getting a set of forms that convey their wishes regarding their finances, health, and what will happen to their stuff when they die. Although the documents that comprise an estate plan may seem like simple forms, these important estate planning… Read More »

Probate and estate administration details that TV & the movies get wrong

Probate and Estate Administration Details that TV and Movies Get Wrong

By Andre O. McDonald |

While television and movies provide great entertainment, they are not always factual. Even shows based on real events are not entirely accurate. Creators of television programs and movies will often alter details of a story or situation to provide an enjoyable experience. Because of these widespread embellishments, people often develop misconceptions about many industries… Read More »

What is the executor's role to play in your estate plan?

Demystifying Probate and the Executor’s Role

By Andre O. McDonald |

When creating a last will and testament (commonly known as a will), one of your most important considerations is who to choose to serve as the executor (also called a personal representative) of your estate. But what exactly is the executor’s role? As the name implies, the executor’s role is to execute the instructions… Read More »

First-Party vs. Third-Party Special Needs Trust: What's the Difference?

Who Should Be the Trustee of a Third-Party Special Needs Trust?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Family members with special needs may require assistance throughout their lives. If you want to ensure that a loved one with a disability is taken care of after you are gone, you can help manage resources for them by using a third-party special needs trust (SNT). Also known as a supplemental needs trust, a… Read More »

Why a comprehensive estate plan is critical for ensuring your final wishes are met

Saying Goodbye Is Hard: How a Comprehensive Estate Plan Can Help

By Andre O. McDonald |

When people think about estate planning, they usually focus on who will receive their money and property when they pass away and how it will be received. However, estate planning can also address your end-of-life wishes—the considerations and expenses involved when it is time to say goodbye to your loved ones. The following are… Read More »

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 »

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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.

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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