As an estate planning attorney the focus on my practice is drafting wills and trusts. The process involves more than entering your personal information into a computer program that generates legal documents. My goal is to guide you through the complicated web of estate laws, beneficiary rules, and tax laws. The end result is that you can control your property while you are alive, provide for your needs in the event you are disabled, and transfer your assets upon death to whom you desire with a minimum of government interference, fees, taxes, and family strife in the process. By getting to know you, your family, and often your financial adviser and Certified Public Accountant our firm can build a personalized plan based on your unique circumstances.
Upon death some estate administration is required. Our firm is ready to help you through the process. A large Probate Estate can be avoided with proper planning, but trusts still need administration upon death to ensure that income tax and estate tax returns are filed, espenses are paid, titles are changed, and assets are distributed according to trust instructions. Proper administration ensures that your wishes are carried out exactly as planned
As an estate planning and administration firm there are many related services that we offer our clients. We can prepare a Special Needs Trust to ensure that receipt of an inheritance by a disabled child does not cause the recipient to lose governmental benefits which often includes a living arrangements in sponsored housing. We can help you maximize your charitable giving by setting up Charitable Remainder Trusts. Prenuptial agreements are enforceable in Maryland provided all assets are made known to both parties and the agreement is entered into freely. Their use is especially appropriate in a second marriage where both parties want their property to eventually pass to their own children. Another tool our office uses is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust which removes the life insurance proceeds from your estate. We continually monitor tax law changes and stand ready to help you adapt to the changes.
Consider how your estate plan will take care of your family
Consider how your estate plan will take care of your family. A farm or business could provide income for generations. Alternatively, a retirement or brokerage account that took a career to accumulate could be gone to a few purchases and taxes without proper guidance. If you took great care in raising your children providing them with educational opportunities, sports, dance, private lessons, you should consider the gift of a trust to benefit them and your grandchildren. A trust for your heirs can provide:
- Asset protection – The value of the trust assets are generally exempt from the claims of the children’s creditors.
- Divorce protection – The trust assets do not become marital property as long as the assets remain in trust.
- Splurge protection – You can set limits on fast the money is drawn out of the trust.
- Professional management – You can name an adviser to continue to manage the money for the child’s benefit.