Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts Article Archives

The Legal Benefits of Marriage

Estate Planning for Maryland’s Same-Sex Couples

February, 2024

The right to marry now extends to more Marylanders than ever before. Under the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which took effect January 1, 2013, same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses knowing that their unions will be recognized by the state. Federal recognition came some six months later with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. These are exciting developments for the LGBT community, and couples who choose to marry will now enjoy many important benefits. Among these are the right to file joint tax returns, to receive Social Security and other government benefits, and to obtain health insurance from a spouse’s employer.

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The Eternal Question – Revocable “Living” Trust or Will?

December, 2023 | By Carl E. Eastwick and Elizabeth A. Fitch

Revocable living trusts have been marketed so successfully that many people think they can’t live—or die—without one. The promises of avoiding probate, ensuring privacy, reducing estate taxes, and preparing for incapacity seem too enticing to pass up. Suze Orman, the popular financial guru, goes so far as to say that “everyone” needs a revocable living trust. But what everyone really needs is some good advice.

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Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts Frequently Asked Questions

March, 2017

What is an estate plan? What exactly is a trust and why might I need one? Can an estate plan help reduce taxes? I am in a same-sex relationship. How can we protect ourselves beyond a basic estate plan? I’ve heard about revocable living trusts. Should I have one? What is probate? My assets are relatively modest. Do I still need an estate plan? What happens if I die without a Will? I am young and healthy. Do I really need a financial Power of Attorney and Advance Medical Directive?

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Selecting Your Executor And Trustee

Your ability to select the person to manage your affairs after your death is one of the advantages of making a will or a trust. If you make a will, or a revocable trust as a substitute for a will, you nominate a person to settle your estate. If you create a trust, you name a person to be the “trustee” of the trust. The trustee is duty bound to follow the instructions in the trust instrument and the law governing trusts.

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