McEvoy Law

Frederick Maryland Law Blog

Be cautious when selecting your Maryland trust's trustee

A key decision that anyone setting up a trust must make is to decide who they're going to appoint to the role of trustee. There are a few attributes that you should look for any potential trustee candidate to have before appointing them to that role.

First, the individual that you appoint as your trustee needs to be honest and trustworthy. They should be comfortable making decisions that are in the best interest of the trust's beneficiaries -- not their own personal interests.

When to update your estate plan

If you already have an estate plan, you are off to a good start. Estate plans ensure that your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries that you choose. It is important to update your estate plan when your life changes, in order to reflect your new wishes.

Changes in your family

What's considered to be a valid will in Maryland?

A will is an estate planning document that individuals draft to give their personal representative directions for how they'd like their assets to handled once they die. Each state has its own standards for what's considered to be a valid will. They also handle wills that have been executed in other states differently. They have distinct procedures for handling cases in which someone dies without a will too.

According to the Office of the Register of Wills, a will must be signed by the testator, or the person drafting it, for it to be considered valid in Maryland. It additionally must have been signed by two credible individuals in front of the testator.

Why estate planning is important

While many individuals in Maryland and across the United States tend to put estate planning on their back burner, it's not advisable to do so. You leave your hard-earned assets up to chance by doing so. If you don't draft a will or come up with a succession plan for your business, then your loved ones may not receive what you intended to leave them.

If you've put off estate planning because you don't feel that you're rich or old enough to do it, then you're wrong. None of us can count on being alive the next minute, hour, day, month or year. What you own may be valuable to you and your heirs. Many don't realize that estate planning involves much more than passing homes and money on to your loved ones.

Executor: Carrie Fisher's estate ready for final distribution

It's been more than two years since actress Carrie Fisher died suddenly just after Christmas 2016 at the age of 60. Shocked fans were in for yet another blow when her mother, movie icon Debbie Reynolds, died just a day later. She was 84.

Now Fisher's estate has been settled, according to its executor. He's seeking a final distribution of the estate's assets in probate court, according to a 13-page document filed this month in Los Angeles, with the exception of $10,000. He's asking that this amount be set aside in case other expenses arise.

Estate planning underscores opportunity more than challenge

Estate planning is a legal realm that can initially seem complex and even a bit overwhelming to many individuals and families in Maryland and across the country.

That is understandable. After all, the subject matter spans topics ranging from asset preservation and eventual disposition to power-of-attorney designations, property distribution among heirs, lawful tax avoidance, gifting, charitable contributions, family legacies and more.

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McEvoy Law
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Frederick, Maryland 21701

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