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Tag Archives: probate

Trusts and probate in Maryland: what you need to know

My Trust is Signed, No Probate for My Family Right?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Planning ahead has obvious benefits. Whether you’re planning a vacation or researching for a job interview, it’s always smart to outline your priorities and anticipate potential challenges that may arise. Planning your estate has similar benefits. With plans clearly established, your wealth and assets are protected should you pass away or become incapacitated. It’s… Read More »

What's the difference between dying intestate vs. with a will or trust?

Wills, Trusts & Dying Intestate: What’s the Difference?

By Andre O. McDonald |

“Estate planning is for the rich! I don’t have enough assets to do an estate plan!” Sounds familiar? These are some of the excuses folks make in order to justify not creating an estate plan. While most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is a good thing, many of us… Read More »

Here's why you must include your vacation property in your estate plan

Does My Estate Plan Need to Include My Vacation Property?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Yes! If you own a vacation property, timeshare, investment property, or any other asset outside of the state where you are domiciled, you must make sure it’s included in your estate plan. If you fail to include these in your estate plan, or fail to have an estate plan at all, your heirs will… Read More »

Estate Planning for New Parents: How to Protect Your Sweet New Baby

New Baby? The Importance of Estate Planning for New Parents

By Andre O. McDonald |

Estate planning is often one item that gets pushed back on nearly everyone’s to-do list. The reasons you might be delaying vary: lack of time, not thinking you have enough assets, not knowing how to start, or fear of contemplating death. Whatever the reason for not putting an estate plan together up until now,… Read More »

What is an estate plan? Probably not what you think...

What is an Estate, and Do I REALLY Need an Estate Plan?

By Andre O. McDonald |

I often get asked – “what is an estate?” You don’t need to have a summer house in Ocean City or a private art collection big enough to rival the Baltimore Museum of Art to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the… Read More »

3 Estate Planning Myths You Should be Aware of in Columbia, MD and beyond

Estate Planning Myths: Why Me, Why Now … and is a Will Enough?

By Andre O. McDonald |

Marylanders – you have worked hard for years, have family members and friends you care about, and have approached a time in your life when “estate planning” sounds like something you should do … but you are not exactly sure why. You may feel that you are not wealthy enough – or not old… Read More »

Joint Property Ownership: Worth the Risk?

6 Dangers of Joint Property Ownership

By Andre O. McDonald |

In an effort to avoid the some assets passing through the probate process, some people often set up bank accounts or real estate so that these assets are owned jointly with a spouse or other family member. The appeal of joint property ownership is that when one owner dies, the surviving owner will automatically… Read More »

12 Executor Duties You Can't Ignore When Someone Dies

12 Executor Duties You Can’t Ignore When a Loved One Dies

By Andre O. McDonald |

If you’ve been appointed an executor of a loved one’s estate, or a successor trustee, and that person dies, your grief – not to mention your to-do list, including tasks ranging from planning the funeral, coordinating relatives coming in from out of town and (eventually) meeting with a trust administration or probate lawyer –… Read More »

How to avoid probate in Maryland? This "do it yourself" strategy could backfire...

Caution: Writing Your Own Deed to Avoid Probate Can Lead to Unintended Consequences

By Andre O. McDonald |

Are you wondering how to avoid probate in Maryland? If so, you want to make sure you’re going about it the right way… In Howard County and beyond, one common way to avoid probate of real estate after the owner dies is to hold the title to the property in joint names with rights… Read More »

3 Coping Strategies for the Overwhelmed Personal Representative

3 Tips for the Overwhelmed Personal Representative

By Andre O. McDonald |

While it is an honor to be named as personal representative (executor) of a will or estate, it can also be a sobering and daunting responsibility. Being a personal representative requires a high level of organization, foresight, and attention to detail to meet all responsibilities and ensure that all beneficiaries receive the assets to… 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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