How do I get started?
First, schedule a free consultation here. After we discuss your needs, I'll give you a comprehensive checklist of all of the information and documents you'll need in order for us to get started. Meetings will be scheduled based on mutual convenience and can occur digitally, in person, and/or over the phone.
What is included in an estate planning package?
Will or RVL and pour over will
Financial Power of Attorney
Healthcare Power of Attorney
Living Will/Advance Directive
Standby guardianship, if applicable
Instructions for beneficiary forms for IRA, 401k, life insurance etc.
Estate planning workbook – organizing personal information
Includes fully executed documents organized in a binder and electronic versions
How long does it take to get an estate plan?
It depends on how complex the estate plan is, how quickly you provide the necessary information, and our mutually agreed upon time frame. Generally, we have a planning meeting, the documents are drafted, we review the documents together, and execute or sign the document.
When should an estate plan be changed or updated?
Your estate plan should be reviewed whenever a significant change in personal or financial circumstances occurs. For example, a change in marital status warrants a review of the will. You should review your estate plan every 3-5 years at the most.
What are the requirements for a valid will?
In the State of Maryland, a will must be signed by the person making the will (testator/testatrix) and attested and signed by two credible witnesses in the presence of the person making the will.
What if my will was prepared in another state?
If you have a will prepared outside of Maryland and then move into Maryland, it is valid as long as it is executed in accordance with the laws of the state in which it was prepared. However, if you move to another state, check with the Probate Division of your new jurisdiction to determine if your will is valid. Laws vary in different states.
What happens if my spouse and I both get sick?
Maryland offers a Standby Guardianship which allows you to pick an agent to care for your children if you are unavailable. There is more information about Standby Guardianship in this blog post.
What if I die without a will?
If there is no will, Maryland law determines who gets the assets. Distribution is determined by the relationship of the surviving heirs of the decedent. For example, if you die without a will in Maryland, your spouse gets one half your assets and your minor children receive the other half.
Should I have a revocable living trust?
In Maryland, where probate is generally straightforward, revocable living trusts are particularly suited for people with real property in multiple jurisdictions, people who anticipate their will may be contested or for people who are in poor health and want someone else to manage their assets. Our estate planning discussion will include an analysis of whether a Will-based or Revocable Trust-based plan is best suited to your goals and objectives.
Where should I keep my important documents?
You should keep them in a fireproof place. You should make sure that the people you named as your personal representative or agent know of the location of your documents.
What is the cost of an estate plan or will?
Following the free consultation, a flat fee estate planning package can be chosen, or hourly services can be provided. Costs depend on the complexity of your estate planning needs. Payments can be made via check, Lawpay (credit card), Zelle, or Venmo. 50% of the fee is due prior to drafting your documents and the remaining 50% is due at the signing.
How are you managing document signings amid Covid-19?
Document signings can be done virtually under orders or, if manageable, socially distanced at my office in Potomac, MD.
I have a question that is not listed here.
No problem! Contact me here with your questions and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.