The Eleff Law Group

Suburban Maryland Legal Law Blog

Changes to your family can mean changes to your estate plan

If you have already put together a will and estate planning documents, you’ve already gone a long way in terms of preparation for the future. However, do not let those documents go stale. Rather, make sure to review them at least every five years – or sooner – if you or your family recently went through any major life changes.

When reviewing your estate plan, there are a few major life changes to consider and keep in mind.

Trusts: The benefits of flexibility and control

When creating an estate plan, you will likely run into the option of setting up a trust or a will - or both. This leaves many wondering what the best option is. Should you transfer your assets to a trust? Or should you spell out your wishes in a will? Or does it make sense to have both a trust and a will?

The answer: It all depends on the specifics of your situation and what your wishes are for after you pass.

Save Money With New Montgomery County Property Tax Credits

Over 65 and living in your Montgomery County, Maryland home for 40 years or more? New property tax credits for qualifying Montgomery County, MD homeowners could save you BUSHELS of MONEY!! Read on - *NEW* Property Tax Credit for Elderly Individuals and for Military Retirees (Bill 42-16)

The gift of your home: How a QPRT can reduce your taxes

Your home is a considerable asset. Yes. You have money in the bank, investments made and valuable possessions, but your home is also a rather significant asset to take into account when deciding how you want to leave your assets to your loved ones.

At the end of the day, the goal is to reduce the tax burden for you and your loved ones. Utilizing a qualified personal residence trust, commonly referred to as a QPRT, is one estate planning tool that allows you to live in your home, while also gifting the home to someone else, such as a child or grandchild. The benefit with a QPRT is that it reduces the size of your estate, which equates to a tax savings.

Prenuptials and estate plans for marriage after 50

Finding love in life is a great feeling, no matter your age. However, just like there are considerations for a 25-year-old to make prior to marriage, there are also important decisions someone 50 or older also needs to consider before walking down the aisle. In this blog post, we hope to provide some basic information on the importance of having a prenuptial agreement and finalizing estate plans before getting married.

Strategies To Save Your Loved Ones Money After You Pass

You have worked hard for everything you have and you no doubt want to leave your children with your assets when you pass. While this sounds simple enough, the truth is that estate tax laws are downright confusing, and one small mistake or oversight can have serious financial implications for your heirs.

When it comes to estate planning, there is a number of different estate tax planning strategies you will want to explore with your attorney.

Spread The Word : Big Jumps In Estate Tax Exemption Amounts Effective In 2017

D.C.'s New Estate Tax Exemption Amount

The District of Columbia's Office of Tax and Revenue recently announced that the D.C. estate tax exemption amount - - that is the portion of an estate NOT subject to tax - - will DOUBLE, from $1 million to $2 million, applicable to residents who pass away after December 31, 2016. This is big, welcome news! Those with their eyes on the ball had been disappointed the past couple of years, as this move had been announced in mid-2014, but was made dependent on the District's budget meeting certain revenue goals, which had not been achieved until recently.

Reasons You NEED A Power Of Attorney

In a perfect world, people are able to handle their own affairs and stay in control of their own lives. However, no matter how healthy you are, the future is uncertain. There is always a possibility you could fall ill, or be incapacitated for one reason or another. Sometimes the best way to truly maintain control over one's life is to be ready to relinquish it - at least to some extent. This is done by designating a person or persons to fill the role of Power of Attorney.

What Is A Power Of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants one person permission to make certain decisions in place of another person. The person who created the POA is the principal. The person named in the POA is the agent or attorney-in-fact, and is normally a close relative, friend or business associate.

Estate Planning For Your Pets As Well As Your Family

Entrusting Your Pet's Care

Is your pet a part of your family? Pets are a great source of comfort, stress relief, and joy. Just as you want to provide for your friends and family if you are disabled or after you pass away, it is natural that you wish to do the same for your beloved pet. So, how do you go about doing it?

Unlike your human family members, your pet is considered a part of your personal property. Just like any other object you own, you can leave your pet to a friend or family member to take care of after you die, and you can gift or entrust the pet to someone during your lifetime. You can also leave a monetary bequest to your successor pet-owner, and state your intent that the funds be used to cover pet needs. However, if you are a Maryland resident who wishes to ensure that the person caring for your pet has the resources to pay for regular vet checkups, medical bills, and other related expenses, the Maryland legislature has provided a formal way to do just that. There are similar statutes in most other states, and you can check on the law in your own state.

Estate Planning Lingo - What Is A Power Of Appointment?

Getting Comfortable With Powers Of Appointment.

Does your will contain power of appointment? Does it waive powers of appointment? Do you know? Can you check? A power of appointment can provide flexibility for transferring property to legatees and heirs, usually children and grandchildren. A will or trust may allow beneficiaries powers of appointment, enabling them to direct where their share of the estate or trust goes at their death

The Powers Of Powers Of Appointment.

A power of appointment grants the recipient with authority to designate the distribution of property held in an estate or trust. There are two types of powers of appointment: a general power of appointment and a limited power of appointment. .A general power of appointment is a broad power that enables the beneficiary to allocate all or part of his or her share of the estate or trust without limitation. A limited power of appointment permits the beneficiary to allocate his or her share of the estate or trust among only certain potential recipients or classes of potential recipients, such as the descendants or charitable organizations, but not to the beneficiary, the beneficiary's estate, or creditors of the beneficiary or the estate.