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What is a Testamentary Trust?
A trust is a legal document funded with certain assets, managed by a trustee and upon certain stated conditions transfers the assets to named beneficiaries. A living trust is created during a person’s lifetime while a testamentary trust is created under a will during the estate administration process after the person dies.

A trust is a legal document funded with certain assets, managed by a trustee and upon certain stated conditions transfers the assets to named beneficiaries. A living trust is created during a person’s lifetime while a testamentary trust is created under a will during the estate administration process after the person dies. A testamentary trust is not effective until the person’s death. At that time, the trust is created, a trustee appointed and assets are titled in such a way to fund the trust.

A testamentary trust can be established to protect assets for minor beneficiaries or beneficiaries that may need some type of assistance with their inheritance. Putting the assets into a testamentary trust for the benefit of those beneficiaries rather than allowing them to directly inherit the assets affords the decedent with some control of the property and also provides protection for the assets from the beneficiaries’ creditors and potential lawsuits or a divorce. Assets can be held and distributed on any type of schedule granting control over a beneficiary that may be prone to overspending, suffer from addiction or simply need some time to mature.

Funds from a life insurance policy, retirement account or annuity can be deposited immediately into a testamentary trust once it is created at the person’s death. To do that, those accounts would need to name the trust as the beneficiary in the transfer-on-death designations.

A testamentary trust can be modified or revoked during a person’s lifetime simply by changing and updating the language in the will. It may be that parents have a will that creates a testamentary trust for their minor children, but choose to update the will and do away with the testamentary trust once the children reach a certain age. Once the person passes away, the testamentary trust cannot be changed or revoked. The executor is bound by the terms of the will and is required to create and fund the trust.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a testamentary trust with an experienced estate planning attorney. It may be that a living trust will be a better option for your situation and to accomplish your goals. At Stouffer Legal, the attorneys can offer you a side-by-side comparison of how a testamentary trust and a living trust will work for you as well as the procedures and costs involved with each. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com, or register for an upcoming free webinar using the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7198814205784581391

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3354783016614620175

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/214530528686575375

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6793194470693626383

September 20, 2021
Webinar: Sunday, September 19th at 6pm-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 19th at 6pm

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 19th at 6pm

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 19th at 6pm

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

September 18, 2021
Webinar: Saturday, September 18th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 18th at 10am

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 18th at 10am

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 18th at 10am

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

September 17, 2021
Dealing with Real Property Issues During Estate Administration
Transferring real estate can pose a variety of issues during the estate administration following the real property owner’s death. Real property includes the physical property of real estate as well as a bundle of ownership and usage rights.

Transferring real estate can pose a variety of issues during the estate administration following the real property owner’s death. Real property includes the physical property of real estate as well as a bundle of ownership and usage rights. Title for real property must be transferred when the asset is conveyed, and it must be cleared for transfer to take place. A deed is a written document that gives ownership rights to a piece of land. In a deed the grantor gives ownership rights in land to a grantee. Deeds contain important information about the property and the terms of the property transfer. Property in Maryland can be titled in 4 different ways:

These methods of title holding are:

  • Joint Tenancy - Joint tenancy occurs when two or more people hold title to real estate jointly, with equal rights to enjoy the property during their lives. If one of the partners dies, their rights of ownership pass to the surviving tenant(s) through a legal relationship known as a right of survivorship.
  • Tenancy in Common – This method allows two or more persons to hold title to real estate jointly, with equal or unequal percentages of ownership. The interest percentage simply determines the financial ownership of the real estate. Ownership can be willed to other parties, and in the event of death, ownership will transfer to that owner's designated heirs undivided.
  • Tenants by Entirety – This type of ownership in real estate only applies to a married couple under the assumption that the couple is one person for legal purposes. This method conveys ownership to them as one person, with title transferred to the other in entirety if one of them dies.
  • Sole Ownership - Sole ownership can be characterized as ownership by an individual or entity legally capable of holding the title such as a business or nonprofit.

Real property in Maryland is recorded and titles can be searched and reviewed through the Maryland courts’ website. Every Maryland County and Baltimore City has a Department of Land Records located in that County’s Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. The Department of Land Records can record any “instrument” (or legal document) that affects someone’s legal interest in real property. Common documents recorded in land records are deeds, mortgages, liens, powers of attorney and certain leases.

Title to real property owned in the sole name of the decedent or the decedent’s interest in property owned as tenants in common generally passes to the beneficiaries named in a will or trust. If there is no will, then the property interests will pass according to Maryland’s law of intestate succession.

One huge caveat though is that if the decedent’s estate cannot satisfy its debts, the real property may be brought into the probate estate by the executor to be liquidated to satisfy those debts. Even if title is held jointly, a portion of the property could be subject to estate debts. The executor may petition the courts to request permission to bring the real property into the probate estate to sell and use the sales proceeds to satisfy valid creditors of the estate.

The executor of an estate is required to pay all debts before distributing any assets to heirs. If the probate court determines that it is in the best interest of the administration of the estate to sell, lease or mortgage any real estate or interest to obtain money for the purpose of settling debts, then those real estate interests will be used in that manner.

For assistance with issues regarding real property considerations in the context of estate administration, contact the knowledgeable probate attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com, or register for an upcoming free webinar using the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8078146431075400463

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5926060227401541391

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7198814205784581391

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3354783016614620175

September 17, 2021
The role of virtual care in senior living markets
For care providers and aging seniors in the information age, the future is now. While still with some challenges, adoption of virtual care as a standard in senior living and aging services has become a fully integrated and accepted practice to overcome obstacles in senior healthcare.

For care providers and aging seniors in the information age, the future is now. While still with some challenges, adoption of virtual care as a standard in senior living and aging services has become a fully integrated and accepted practice to overcome obstacles in senior healthcare.

Virtual care techniques have been in use for over a decade and have moved beyond infancy stages. Several top providers of senior living care accept virtual care as an effective means to administer care. Furthermore, seniors and staff providing care recognize the value that technology-enabled solutions offer. If you are an aging senior, you are likely to experience some form of virtual care in your lifetime.

One of the more prevalent applications of virtual care is to overcome the challenges of staffing shortages and staff retention in care facilities. Recruiting, paying, and retaining necessary staff for senior care is one of the most significant issues senior care facilities face as a whole. Virtual care can be made available during staffing shortages, particularly during after-hours and weekend care, as well as on holidays. Provider oversight includes platforms using audio and video virtually connected to a bedside 24 hours a day. This alert system will provoke human intervention in a crisis. The virtual monitoring of senior residents can alert a skeleton crew of care providers tied to the virtual platform in the event of an emergency to intervene and provide complex or urgent care that requires a human touch.

Advancing positive outcomes is a hallmark of virtual care for seniors. Proper implementation and oversight of virtual care systems can avoid unnecessary hospitalization which reduces health care costs as well as stress on aging seniors, their caregivers, and family. Because healthcare is becoming prohibitively expensive, senior care providers view virtual care implementation as a high priority for health care reform. The 2018 Telehealth Industry Trends presentation cites research showing that “…after hours skilled nursing virtual care providers have successfully treated more than 80 percent of skilled nursing residents in place using virtual care technologies.” Health care provided on site helps residents avoid the expensive costs of hospitalization and the accompanying trauma associated with patient emergency hospital trips.

Virtual care is ideal for assisting the goals of the senior “aging in place” trend. Older adults are increasingly interested in technological applications to improve their aging experience and allow them to maintain healthy independence while remaining in their own home. In the event of an adverse health event, remote monitoring and wearable technologies can alert care providers or loved ones immediately. For seniors who have chronic conditions, this type of monitoring can bring peace of mind to know their health is being monitored 24 hours a day. By using an integrated virtual system, the senior also plays an active role in their well being. Home monitoring "smart speaker" service solutions for seniors are being aggressively developed and marketed by nontraditional healthcare companies like Amazon and Google.

Independent senior living will especially benefit through virtual care technologies in rural markets where seniors can often have trouble finding convenient care options. A major hurdle facing this trend is connectivity. Often times in rural environments internet connections are unreliable and sometimes nonexistent. Programs like Connect Americans Now are working to bridge the digital divide and provide reliable broadband connectivity for some 19.4 million Americans living in rural areas. Virtual systems can help monitor vital signs of health for difficult to reach senior populations as well as enhance social engagement to offset feelings of loneliness and isolation. These rural seniors benefit immensely by having ease of interaction with healthcare professionals and social contact with friends and loved ones. Overall, virtual care technologies can bring better health care and quality of life to rural seniors.

Virtual technology has a myriad of applications to benefit aging seniors. In senior living facilities it can augment staffing issues and still provide 24-hour monitoring and oversight. It can also make aging in place strategies for seniors much safer, particularly for those seniors in rural communities.

You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com, or register for an upcoming free webinar using the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8078146431075400463

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5926060227401541391

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7198814205784581391

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3354783016614620175

September 16, 2021
Estate Planning Considerations for Intellectual Property
A comprehensive estate plan transfers assets from one owner to chosen beneficiaries while also minimizing administration expenses and tax liabilities. A category of assets that can be included in an estate plan is intellectual property interests.

A comprehensive estate plan transfers assets from one owner to chosen beneficiaries while also minimizing administration expenses and tax liabilities. A category of assets that can be included in an estate plan is intellectual property interests. Many business owners, artists, musicians and authors know they hold substantial commercial value in their intellectual property and understand that it can be complex to protect the value during a transfer of ownership. In addition to the intellectual property itself, there may also be royalties, related agreements and licenses that need to be properly considered in the planning process.

Let’s look at the 4 main types of intellectual property:

Copyrights:Original works of authorship may be protected as a legal copyright. This may include books, movie scripts, songs, photos and even software or certain applications (“apps”). A copyright symbol should be used to notify the general public that the work is under copyright protection. It can also be registered with the US Copyright Office. The copyright protection will last for 70 years following the creator’s death.

Patents:Any new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter may be protected by filing for a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office. There are three main types of patents – utility patents, design patents and plant patents. Obtaining a patent is a very complicated process and will only be issued if the invention has not ever been publicly disclosed. This requires a very comprehensive search of the patent database. Once granted the patent will last from fourteen to twenty years.

Trademarks:Brand names and logos that are used to identify goods and services in the commercial marketplace are also protected as trademarks. A comprehensive trademark search must be conducted, and then the trademark should be filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office if the owner is seeking nationwide protection. The federal registration only lasts 10 years, but for a fee, the owner can continue to renew the trademark for an indefinite period of time.

Trade Secrets:A trade secret is information that is (1) not generally known outside of the owner’s organization, (2) has independent economic value and (3) is subject to reasonable measures to maintain its secrecy. Examples of trade secrets include recipes, formulas, patterns, or processes. The value of the trade secret lies in its confidentiality. Competitors cannot make exact copies therefore; the item is rare based on its unique composition.

Transferring intellectual property assets to new owners requires careful planning. The new owners need to have sufficient funds to maintain and continue to protect the assets as well as an understanding of ongoing use or filing requirements.

For patents, trademarks and trade secrets, it is often best to consider the use of a trust because it can minimize expenses and provide a level of privacy. These assets do not contain termination rights like copyrights. For this reason, it is often not advised to transfer copyrights via trusts. Copyrights can transfer through an owner’s will. A will is advised for copyright transfers because it avoids a possible termination of the transfer by the statutory heirs. Termination rights, pass to a copyright owner’s spouse and children when the owner dies but cannot be waived or transferred during the owner’s life. If the owner transferred the copyright to a trust, the statutory heirs could undo the owner’s intent.

All intellectual property assets should be clearly defined in all estate planning documents. Clearly defined means at a minimum, the owner of the intellectual property, any numbers designated by the USPTO, names of any persons with the right to license, and all parties responsible for maintaining up-to-date filings and paying required fees.

Once the transfer of the asset occurs, whether by will, trust or lifetime gift, the new owner should be recorded with the USPTO. It may also be best to name an executor or trustee with experience managing intellectual property and the income generated from those assets to ensure a smooth transition.

If you or your business owns any type of intellectual property, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area for a consultation on comprehensive estate planning that includes intellectual property rights and assets. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com, or register for an upcoming free webinar using the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1235806406587920911

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8078146431075400463

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5926060227401541391

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7198814205784581391

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3354783016614620175

September 15, 2021
Live Webinar September 21st at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 21st at 10am

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 21st at 10am

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 21st at 10am

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

September 14, 2021
Tips to Help Others Who Are Grieving After the Loss of a Loved One
Whether it happens unexpectedly or after a long illness, facing the death of a loved one can be a painful experience. Everyone grieves differently which makes those wanting to help often at a loss of the best manner to go about offering that help.

Whether it happens unexpectedly or after a long illness, facing the death of a loved one can be a painful experience. Everyone grieves differently which makes those wanting to help often at a loss of the best manner to go about offering that help. Here are a few tips:

Bring Food

It may feel intimidating to show up on the doorstep holding a casserole, but nonetheless bringing food is a tremendous way to help, especially right away. In the days that follow the death and even beyond the funeral, there will likely be a lot of family, friends and other visitors in the home. The person grieving is in no condition to play host/hostess. Having casseroles, hams, breads, desserts, drinks, snacks and fruit dropped off allows the guests to make themselves a bite to eat whenever the mood strikes without having to bother the grieving homeowner.

Sometimes it may be helpful to coordinate the food drop-offs using tools like CareCalendar.com or TakeThemAMeal.com depending on the size of the crowd.

Visit and Share Memories

One common misconception is to think that someone who has lost a loved one does not want to talk about that person or even hear his or her name. That could not be further from the truth. Visit the grieving friend and speak the deceased person’s name while telling stories and sharing memories. This is a vital and healthy part of the grieving process.

Take Note of Important Dates

Mark your calendar with important dates such as the birthdays, anniversaries and date of death. Especially during the first calendar year, reach out to your friend on these dates. It helps to know that someone else is thinking of you on special occasions.

Show compassion and allow your friend to grieve on his or her timetable. There is no expiration date. Everyone has a unique situation which may mean that the person grieving needs to be surrounded by family and friends more often or it may mean that the person needs more time alone. This may change as time goes on. While sympathizing for the loss, engage the friend in normal conversations and extend invitations. People who are grieving do not want to be avoided.

In the early stages, you may offer to help in various ways like running errands, watching kids or grandkids, or bringing over groceries and these offers may be met with resistance. Most people tend to avoid putting others out. Keep in mind that people deep in grief may not even know what they need at the time. It helps to make your offer to help by communicating specific tasks and making sure to imply that it is not bother to you. For example, instead of asking “What can I do to help?”, rephrase it to “I’m making an extra quiche this afternoon, can I drop it by later?”

The aftermath of death can be tricky to navigate and many people try to avoid those who are grieving. It is far better to push yourself to take some of the tips mentioned here. If you or a loved one is experiencing a recent death in the family and need the assistance of compassionate estate administration/probate attorneys, contact Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599, emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com, or register for an upcoming free webinar using the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7850280342799977231

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1235806406587920911

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8078146431075400463

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5926060227401541391

September 13, 2021
Webinar: Sunday, September 12th at 6pm-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 12th at 6pm

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 12th at 6pm

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 12th at 6pm

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

September 11, 2021
Webinar: Saturday, September 11th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 11th at 10am

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 11th at 10am

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

Webinar – Click Here to Register for September 11th at 10am

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

We can't wait to see you!

Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about. Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to Get Started on your New Estate Plan!

REGISTER FOR A WORKSHOP

September 10, 2021
We can't wait to see you!
Today is the right day to take your first step. Click below to register for our next free workshop and learn what everyone is talking about.

Attending our next free Workshops is the best way to
Get Started on your New Estate Plan!
REGISTER FOR a WORKSHOP