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Tag Archives: estate planning

risks of DIY estate planning

Caution: Beware of DIY Estate Planning

By Andre O. McDonald |

We hear this question about DIY estate planning all the time: “Can’t I just grab a will off the internet, do a transfer-on-death deed for my land, put my kids on my bank account, and be done with my estate plan?” DIY estate planning is just not a good idea. For the plan to… Read More »

Should you own your timeshare in trust? Click to find out.

Should You Own Your Timeshare in Your Trust?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Timeshares have come a long way since they first arrived in the real estate market back in the ’70s. In the early days of timeshare ownership, high-pressure sales tactics, exceedingly vague contracts, and inflexible scheduling policies caused many people to quickly regret such purchases. Over time, however, timeshares have become more consumer-friendly with greater… Read More »

What you need to know about your inherited retirement account

What to do with your inherited retirement account

By Andre O. McDonald |

For decades, common financial planning wisdom has encouraged almost all-American workers to maximize their contributions to qualified retirement accounts. Indeed, doing so can be a powerful way to reduce your current income tax liability, grow your savings exponentially tax-free, and, in most states, protect your savings from claims of creditors. And by and large,… Read More »

Probate process: what you need to know

What is the Probate Process?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Probate is the legal process for authenticating a deceased person’s last will and testament, reviewing their assets, paying their outstanding debts and taxes, and distributing what remains to their heirs. After an asset-holder dies, the court will appoint the person nominated as personal representative under a valid will to administer the estate of the… Read More »

13 things your letter of instruction in your estate plan should have

Letter of Instruction for Your Estate Plan

By Andre O. McDonald |

Whether you are starting from scratch or have an estate plan in place, a letter of instruction (LOI) is an important part of any comprehensive plan. A letter of instruction can help your loved ones manage important information about you. A letter of instruction conveys your desires, includes practical information about where to find… Read More »

What you need to know about Per stirpes, by representation, and per capita distributions in wills and trusts

All in the Family: Making Sense of Per Stirpes, By Representation, and Per Capita Distributions

By Andre O. McDonald |

“That’s not fair!” In many households, this is the common refrain of children as they advocate for themselves or express what they feel to be unjust. This pursuit of fairness, however, is not limited to arguments between parents and young children. The notion of fairness often pervades family dynamics and may continue even beyond… Read More »

Understanding the responsibilities of the fiduciary role

Serving as a Fiduciary: What You Need to Know

By Andre O. McDonald |

You may be asked to be power of attorney for a family member or friend. Your family member or friend may be planning for when they might become unable to take care of their affairs. For example, they might become disabled or incapacitated, and they would need a trusted person to step in and… Read More »

Why (legally) adult children need powers of attorney

Coming of Age and Powers of Attorney

By Andre O. McDonald |

When your child turns 18 (in most states), it might be hard to imagine that the little child who once needed you for everything has now become – overnight – an adult. Now your child is free to vote, marry, apply for a credit card, make medical and financial decisions, sign contracts, and live… Read More »

What Happens if my Beneficiary Dies Before Me?

What Happens If My Beneficiary Dies Before Me?

By Andre O. McDonald |

When planning for death, most people assume they will die before their beneficiaries (e.g., their spouse, children, and grandchildren). While these assumptions are often well-founded, they do not always come to pass. This may have you wondering, “so what happens if my beneficiary dies before me”? Or, if this has already happened to you,… Read More »

7 pitfalls to watch out for when choosing beneficiaries in your estate plan

Designating Beneficiaries: 8 Pitfalls You May Not Know About

By Andre O. McDonald |

You might think that leaving your property to your heirs would be simple enough. You make a will or a trust, you do a transfer-on-death deed for your real estate, you put your kids on your bank account, you designate beneficiaries for your life insurance and retirement accounts, and you’re done. If only things… 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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