Author: Ally Legal Planning

CHARITABLE GIVING THROUGH RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

It’s that time of year where everyone starts to think about making charitable donations, whether that be for the simple act of kindness, the goal of reducing income taxes owed for the year or both.  Whatever the reason, if you have charitable intentions heading into the holiday season, this post is for you.   This post discusses using retirement accounts for charitable giving. There are many benefits to using your traditional retirement accounts to make lifetime charitable gifts and to make charitable bequests upon your death. For lifetime charitable gifts, if you are over the age of seventy-two (72) years and, as such,...

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You’ve Signed Your Last Will & Testament. Now Where Should You Keep It?

After signing your Last Will & Testament (“Will”), you may be tempted to not think about it again.  After all, thinking about your death and what will happen to your loved ones and your assets after you are gone isn’t the most fun thing to think about.  But before you move on, there’s one more important thing you need to think about: Where are you going  to store your original Will? Generally there are two options, you can either keep your original Will yourself or have a third-party hold it for you.  If you are planning to keep your original Will...

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Why You Should Say No To Online Estate Planning: You Get What You Pay For

In this modern day and age there are so many resources readily available to us online, it can be overwhelming.  Sure, you can “Google” anything and get so much information that your head will spin, but in the end, you don’t know what you don’t know.  How do you determine which sources are reliable and which ones are just a marketing tactic about what you supposedly need?  While the internet can sometimes be a good source of information, we all have to be mindful of the limitations of any online purchase. While it may be appealing to “pay less” to get...

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If Your Will Was Remotely Witnessed During The Pandemic, Your Will May Be Deemed Invalid Upon Your Death!

In Maryland, any individual over the age of 18 who is legally competent can make a Last Will and Testament (“Will”). In order for a Will to be considered valid under Maryland law, it must be (i) in writing, (ii) signed by the person making the Will (the “testator”), and (ii) attested to and signed by two credible witnesses in the physical presence of the testator. Covid-19 resulted in many changes to how things were done.  On April 10, 2020, Governor Hogan signed an emergency order that temporarily suspended the requirement that a Will must be signed by the testator and...

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Trust Basics

Trusts can be an extremely useful and important part of your estate plan depending on your circumstances and needs. There are three parties to any trust.  First, the Grantor is the person who creates the trust and transfers property to the trust (also commonly referred to as settlor, trustor or trust maker). Second, the Beneficiaries are those individuals who will receive the benefits (i.e. income and principal) of the trust. Finally, the Trustee is the person who holds and administers the trust property for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee has a lot of responsibilities and must comply with a...

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What is a Guardian and Why Would You Need One?

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a guardian as “one who has the care of the person or property of another” or “one that guards: custodian.”   While simple in definition, the process of becoming someone’s legal guardian is complex and can often be overwhelming.  Under the laws of most states, a legal guardianship is considered an extreme measure and is typically not pursued unless it is proven to be absolutely necessary in order to protect a person from harm and there are no less restrictive alternatives available. There are two types of guardianship appointments, guardian of the person and guardian of the property.  A guardian...

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