Category: Estate Planning FAQ


The Role of an Executor in Maryland

In Maryland, an executor (also known as a personal representative) plays a crucial role when it is time to settle an estate and distribute assets after a loved one has passed away. Working with an attorney who has knowledge and experience in estate administration is also crucial, since the attorney can help make this complex

The Consequences of Not Probating a Will

Let’s start with some context. First, as we have noted in previous blog posts, probate is a court-supervised process whereby an individual’s debts are paid and the remaining assets are distributed to beneficiaries after the individual in question passes away. (The person who has died is known as the decedent.) Second, probate is not required

What is a Demand Letter?

As the name implies, a demand letter “demands” that the letter’s recipient take specific actions to resolve a conflict. Demand letters are frequently used by businesses to demand restitution or the payment of a debt, and they often serve as a precursor to a lawsuit. In general, a demand letter contains all of the following:

Maryland Estate Tax: What You Need to Know

Let’s start with the good news. The vast majority of us are not subject to federal estate taxes because the current threshold is $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4 for couples filing jointly. Unfortunately, the threshold for Maryland’s estate tax is considerably less. If a Maryland resident passes away in 2021 and has an estate

What Are the Differences Between a Void Contract and a Voidable Contract?

A contract is an agreement between private parties that creates mutual legal obligations. There are four fundamental elements necessary to make a contract legally enforceable: mutual assent, adequate consideration, capacity, and legality. The terms “void contract” and “voidable contract” may sound similar, but these two types of contracts are entirely different. A void contract cannot

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With Home Prices Rising Rapidly, You May Find It Easy to Get Rid of Your Mortgage Insurance

Home prices are skyrocketing nationwide thanks to low mortgage interest rates, strong demand, and limited supply. According to the National Association of Realtors, 88 percent of metropolitan areas in the U.S. saw double-digit price increases in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Realtor.com reports that as of April 3,

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Should Your Estate Plan Include a Letter of Intent?

A Letter of Intent, also called a Letter of Instruction, is a document outlining your wishes on a wide range of matters. Unlike a Last Will and Testament, which is a legally binding expression of your wishes, a Letter of Intent is an informal document. Your executor and loved ones are not required to abide

Trusts Aren’t Just for Rich People

One of the more common misconceptions about trusts is that they are only for celebrities and the wealthiest of families. Not so. Trusts can accomplish a wide range of planning objectives, many of which apply to “regular folks.” Let’s look at few examples. Avoiding Probate Probate is a legal process whereby an individual’s debts are

FEMA Now Provides Financial Assistance for COVID-Related Funeral Expenses

If you have lost a loved one due to COVID-19, FEMA now offers financial assistance for funeral expenses. Assistance is available retroactively for funeral expenses incurred after January 20th of last year. Eligibility Requirements To be eligible for assistance from FEMA, your loved one must have passed away in the United States (including U.S. territories

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The $250,000/$500,000 Home Sale Tax Exclusion

If you own your home and are thinking of selling, it can be important to understand the home sale tax exclusion so you can maximize your tax benefits. Did you know your exclusion may be up to $250,000 in capital gains if you are single, or up to $500,000 if you are married? Numbers like