The Eleff Law Group

Suburban Maryland Legal Law Blog

If This is December, It's Time to Consider 529 Qualified Tuition Plans

Got a kid or grandchild headed to college....sooner or later? December is a great time to set up and contribute to a 529 plan, to take advantage of this year's annual gift exclusion amount. 529 plans are an efficient and cost effective way for parents and other family members to help pay for accredited post-secondary educational expenses. "529" is a reference to the Internal Revenue Code section setting out the terms and conditions for qualified tuition plans. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as many state educational institutions, provide or spo nsor 529 plans where income earned on assets are not subject to federal income tax and may not be subject to state income tax if ultimately used for qualified educational expenses.

How a life insurance trust can help preserve your wealth

Estate planning goes far beyond itemizing assets and listing beneficiaries to receive these assets. Especially for those who plan to leave a good deal of wealth and possessions when they pass, the process of estate planning should also take a close look at just what can be done to best preserve wealth for future generations.

There are a number of tools at your disposal when putting together an estate plan. The choices you make and the way you decide to set up your estate is a very personal matter. Your attorney should be looking at your financial goal and big picture – and then making suggestions for how to proceed from there. No matter what direction you go in, you and your attorney should be looking at all of the possible exemptions and tools that may be available when putting together the plan. 

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.