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Can a Personal Representative Designated in a Will Act Before the Principal’s Death?

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A Personal Representative has no power to do anything before death. Only a Power of Attorney or court appointed guardian can act during the principal’s lifetime. As such, it is important to meet with a lawyer and execute the proper Power of Attorney documents before such an individual is needed, rather than later when issues […]

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I Found an Unsigned Maryland Will, What Now?

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A question was recently asked about what can be done if you find a Maryland will, of a family member, but the will is unsigned and it appears it may have been filed with the county. You should contact the clerk at the register of wills for the county in which the will was filed. […]

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What Death Taxes are Payable in Maryland?

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Both the federal and state governments impose taxes upon the property/estate of a decedent. A federal estate tax with graduated rates is imposed on all property interests that the decedent owned at the time of death. The federal estate tax applies to probate assets and also to non-probate assets. For example, joint property and insurance […]

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How Much Does a Maryland Will Cost?

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Lawyers often charge on an hourly basis at rates that vary depending on the region of the country and experience of the attorney. Also, the thinking is that the estate planning needs of each person will be different therefore, the cost of a Will is affected by the amount of time it takes to review […]

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How to Revoke a Maryland Will

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Before deciding to revoke a Will you should discuss the pros and cons with an experienced estate planning attorney. There are many good reasons to revoke a Will but this should almost always include replacing the Will with a new updated Will. Creating a new Will is an excellent way to revoke a prior Will. […]

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Are Maryland Wills Public Records?

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Wills of living persons in Maryland can be filed with the Register of Wills for the county in which the person lives. The wills are held for safekeeping by the Register of Wills but they are not part of the public records. In the State of Maryland you may not review the Will of a […]

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Maryland Estate Planning: Creating Estate Planning Documents such as Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney & Advance Directives

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Here are some good questions to ask an attorney when you are considering hiring that attorney to create an estate plan for you. These are questions that are sometimes asked of me and I have included my answers after each question. “How do you draft your estate planning documents?” I begin by learning what you […]

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Baltimore, Maryland Estate Planning Attorney: Can a Will be Changed or Modified Years After it Was Created?

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You can change your will at any time by signing an amendment known as a “codicil” or by having a new will prepared. Either a codicil or a new will must be executed with the same formal requirements under Maryland law as the original will. You should not attempt to change your existing will by […]

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Essex, Maryland Estate Planning Lawyer: Where to File a Will in Essex & Baltimore County

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Maryland law allows Wills to be filed with the county in which you live. As an estate planning attorney, I have encountered clients in Maryland who have failed (or their attorney failed) to file their Will with the county. This is a critical final step in the Will creation process as it ensures safe keeping […]

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Maryland Estate Planning Lawyer: What Are Probate Assets?

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Probate assets are those that pass pursuant to the terms of the decedent’s Will or if no Will was created, than pursuant to Maryland law. Examples of probate assets include those items that were held in the decedent’s name only: cash, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies…. Non-probate assets are those that pass independent of a […]

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