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Tag Archives: estate planning

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 »

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 »

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 »

Understanding the purpose of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount (DSUEA) in Estate Planning

What Is the “Last Surviving Spouse Rule”?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Estate planning can be a significant part of successful financial management, especially for married couples. One key consideration is minimizing estate taxes, which can substantially affect the distribution of money and property to a married couple’s loved ones. Part of this is understanding the purpose of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount, commonly referred… Read More »

Can a nursing home take your house?

Protecting Your House After You Move into a Nursing Home

By Andre O. McDonald |

When people start thinking about aging and the looming potential for needing long-term nursing care that comes along with it, one of the primary questions people have is: can a nursing home take your house? While you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid for nursing home… Read More »

Can you change an irrevocable trust? Read more to find out.

3 Examples of When an Irrevocable Trust Can—and Should—Be Modified

By Andre O. McDonald |

A frequently asked question that we receive is: “Can you change an irrevocable trust?“ You may be surprised to find out that YES, they can indeed be modified. If you did not know this, you are not alone. The name lends itself to that very misconception. However, the truth is that changes in laws,… 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

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10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy, #420
Columbia, MD 21044-3563

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7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800 West
Bethesda, MD 20814

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

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