Estate Planning Hot Topics


Welcome to our Estate Planning Hot Topics center.  This is our Blog containing current and timely short articles of interest to our clients about various estate planning, legacy planning, tax planning, business succession planning, and estate administration issues.  You may view our Estate Planning Hot Topics archive here and you may subscribe to the Estate Planning Hot Topics to be alerted when we post additional articles of interest.

Estate Planning

Do Not Name Your Minor Children as Beneficiaries of Your Retirement Plan

Posted on: July 14th, 2015
Naming minor children as beneficiaries of a retirement plan is fraught with danger. Anyone with a retirement plan should visit an estate planning attorney with substantial experience with retirement plans and tax consequences to ensure that it is passed on to beneficiaries and not diluted by taxes or wiped out by creditors....

3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now

Posted on: August 24th, 2014
A common misconception is that only wealthy families and people in high risk professions need to put together an asset protection plan. But in reality, anyone can be sued. A car accident, foreclosure, unpaid medical bills, or an injured tenant can result in a monetary judgment that will decimate your finances. Below are three tips that you can use right now to protect your assets from creditors, predators and lawsuits....

Why You Need to Provide for Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

Posted on: August 22nd, 2013
Consider what would happen to your parents if they rely on you for physical and/or financial support, and something happens to you. Plan now for their physical and financial care in your estate plan. Instead of the traditional approach of how to leave assets to your children and future generations, you may also need to include providing for the previous generation--your parents....

Newly Married . . . Planning the Next Chapter

Posted on: July 29th, 2013
As a newly married couple, you probably spent a lot of time planning your wedding and honeymoon and now you're ready to plan the rest of your lives together. Very few married couples, however, realize the importance of putting plans in place to care for each other in the event of a tragedy or even just the natural passing of the years. Every married couple, whether newlyweds or golden anniversary couples, need to ensure they have effective estate plans in place to protect and provide for their spouse . . . in sickness and in health....

Young Families Need Estate Planning, Too

Posted on: July 1st, 2013
Many young families put off estate planning because they are young and healthy, or because they don't think they can afford it. But even a healthy, young adult can be taken suddenly by an accident or illness. While none of us expects to die while our family is young, planning for the possibility is prudent and responsible. Estate planning does not have to be expensive; a young family can start with the essential legal documents and term life insurance, then update and upgrade as their financial situation improves or become more complex....

Maryland Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

Posted on: June 18th, 2013
Estate planning involves documenting your desires about how your property is handled after death, and how your property and health care decisions are handled during a period of incapacity. Proper estate planning is important for everyone. But for unmarried partners--opposite sex or same sex--it is critical. Part One of this two-part article presents issues for unmarried partners to consider for after-death estate planning....

Estate Planning as a Plan for Our Lives

Posted on: June 11th, 2013
All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction: a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, etc. But the best planning happens when the professional can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a process instead of a transaction. This process begin with having a plan for our lives....

Incorporating Faith and Values in Estate Planning

Posted on: May 31st, 2013
For many, passing along religious beliefs and values to the next generation is just as important as passing along financial wealth and tangible assets. Estate Planning creates many opportunities to do this....

Do Not Leave Assets to Minor Children

Posted on: May 31st, 2013
Every parent wants to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives often want to leave some of their assets to young children, too. But good intentions and poor planning often have unintended results....

Leaving Assets to Adult Children

Posted on: April 12th, 2013
When considering how to leave assets to adult children, the first step is to decide how much each one should receive. Most parents want to treat their children fairly, but this doesn't necessarily mean they should receive equal shares of the estate. For example, it may be desirable to give more to a child who is a teacher than to one who has a successful business, or to compensate a child who has been a primary caregiver....

Should You Disinherit a Child?

Posted on: March 18th, 2013
Most parents choose to leave their estates equally to their children. But sometimes, parents intentionally choose to not leave anything to a child. There may be what the parents consider to be a legitimate reason: one child has been more financially successful than the others; not wanting a special needs child to lose government benefits; or not wanting to leave an inheritance to an irresponsible or drug-dependent child....