Maryland Tag

3 Common Mistakes Executors Make and How to Avoid Them

Many people are suddenly thrust into the position of being the executor of a loved one’s estate, and have no idea what to do or how to best proceed. It can be overwhelming. I want to share with you some common mistakes that I’ve encountered with executors in the hopes that you can learn what not to do. Please note, the concerns below are for people that have not done proper trust based planning. Properly drafted and maintained trust based planning (which we recommend for all of our clients) avoids many of the pitfalls below by allowing your trustees to...

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Estate Planning Tip: Watch Out for State Taxes

When people begin estate planning, they probably think about the federal estate tax (commonly referred to as the “death” tax). However, a lesser-discussed tax issue is state estate and inheritance taxes. This is a complex, state-based issue and it’s advisable for you to sit down with an experienced estate planner to make sure your plan takes into consideration potential state taxes. Some states collect estate taxes and while other states collect inheritance taxes (some actually collect both). You may be thinking, “what the heck is the difference between an estate tax and an inheritance tax?” Well, an inheritance tax is...

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Estate Planning Tip: You May Be Able to Qualify for a Real Estate Tax Exemption

Did you know that seniors are eligible to reduce their real estate property tax bill if they meet certain state and local requirements? As part of the estate planning process, proper counseling should also include taking full advantage of tax programs that are available to alleviate the tax on your estate while you are alive as well as after you die. For example, in Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia, there are programs allowing credits to be applied against your property tax bill, as long as the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of your gross income. Basically, this places...

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Get the Most Out of Maryland’s MOLST Form

If you live in Maryland and have a life care plan, you may have heard of something known as a “MOLST” form. If you’ve never heard of this form, have no worries. We’re going to explain exactly what this form is and how to utilize it in your estate plan. What is a MOLST Form? MOLST stands for Maryland Order for Life Sustaining Treatment. A MOLST form signifies written medical orders by a physician or nurse practitioner regarding life-sustaining treatments, according to Miemss.org. The objective is for the MOLST form to be a portable and enduring medical order form that...

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Importance of Having a Durable Power of Attorney

This article deals with the scenario of a loved one who becomes incapacitated and therefore needs someone to execute appropriate planning of their estate. The fact is, in the absence of an estate plan, only a properly drafted General Durable Power of Attorney will afford a level of flexibility necessary to make critical decisions about an incapacitated person’s estate. In this article, I’ll talk about how the Power of Attorney plays an important role in the planning and protection process. What does a Durable Power of Attorney do? Well, this is a legal document that an individual prepares while they...

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