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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 »

How remarriage affects your estate plan

How Can Remarriage Affect Your Estate Planning?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Divorce is more common now than it was in the past, as is remarriage. Depending on how long a prior marriage lasted, the former couple may have engaged in certain levels of estate planning together. When that is the case, it is important to understand how remarriage can impact the estate planning from a… 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 »

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 »

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Bethesda, MD 20814

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