The Eleff Law Group

Suburban Maryland Legal Law Blog

How a special needs trust can protect your child

When it comes to parenting, you know your child better than anyone else. The same is especially true if your child is special needs. You know their routine and the environment that they thrive in. You also understand what it is they will need as they grow and continue through life.

Keeping these needs in mind is especially important when putting together estate plans. While there are many reasons anyone could benefit from having a trust set up, it is particularly beneficial for your child if you set up a special needs trust. This can help them both now and into the future, especially when it comes to protecting their access to government benefits.

Creating estate plans: Preparing after the birth of a child

Now that your little bundle of joy is here, it is time to talk estate planning. Just like how you checked finding a pediatrician and decorating the nursery off your to do list, now is also the time to make sure everything is in place in case anything ever happened to you and your partner.

A will is one of the most important documents you will create after the birth of a child. This document not only specifies how your assets are to be divided, but it should also list who your child’s guardian is. This is a matter not to be taken lightly, as a guardian is someone who will raise your child if something were to happen to you. 

Have you heard about the changes for 529 education savings plans?

Previously, 529 plans could be used only to cover costs for college and other post-secondary educational expenses. The new tax bill changes that, allowing use of 529 savings plans to support children's K-12 education, and authorizes 529 accounts withdrawals for public, private or religious schools. With this expanded flexibility, families not currently setting aside money for education may want to reconsider earmarking some savings toward a 529 plan.

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.