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How to Include Charitable Giving in Your Estate Plan
Many people fail to include charitable giving in their estate plans. It may be due to not fully understanding their net worth or not knowing their legacy goals.

Many people fail to include charitable giving in their estate plans. It may be due to not fully understanding their net worth or not knowing their legacy goals. If you are philanthropically inclined, there are several ways you can incorporate charitable giving in your estate plan.

Bequest in Your Will.

Designate an amount that will go to a charity in your will or trust. Simply including terms in your will or trust that list a charity as a beneficiary is the easiest way to include charitable giving in your estate plan. You choose the amount and the charity. It may have an added benefit of lowering your taxable estate.

Rollover Your IRA to Charity.

You can name a charity as the beneficiary of your IRA and still receive tax advantages for that now. You can donate up to $100,000 per year to your charity of choice straight from your IRA and that amount is counted toward any required minimum distributions. Giving the funds directly from the IRA to the charity makes it a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) and you can exclude that amount from your taxable income.

Gift Property.

You can gift real estate, such as a vacation property, to a charity and still reserve lifetime use.

Create a Charitable Remainder Trust.

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is an irrevocable trust that generates a potential income stream for you, as the donor to the CRT, or other beneficiaries, with the remainder of the donated assets going to your favorite charity or charities. This allows you to make donations tax-free and reduce your taxable income.

Life Insurance.

Many people are not aware that charities can be named as beneficiaries of life insurance policies. You can also establish a charitable giving rider. They pay a percentage of the policy’s face value to a qualified charity. The riders do not reduce the cash value or the death benefits of the policy, although there are limitations on how much can be given.

For more information on adding charitable giving to your estate plan, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

August 10, 2022
Live Webinar August 16th 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 August 16th 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 August 16th 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 August 16th 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

August 9, 2022
Estate Planning for Non-U.S. Citizens
Individuals who own property in the United States but who are not U.S. citizens, such as nonresident aliens and green card holders, need effective estate planning strategies to counteract this set of challenges. The primary challenge is that noncitizens are not qualified to exert the exemption for federal estate and gift taxes that citizenship provides.

Individuals who own property in the United States but who are not U.S. citizens, such as nonresident aliens and green card holders, need effective estate planning strategies to counteract this set of challenges. The primary challenge is that noncitizens are not qualified to exert the exemption for federal estate and gift taxes that citizenship provides. That amount fluctuates according to constant changes in law, but the current exemption amount in 2022 that citizens enjoy is $12.06 million per person, an increase from $11.7 last year. In contrast, non-citizens are entitled to an exemption amount of only $60,000 for estate tax purposes for their U.S. property.

For married couples, generally there is an unlimited marital deduction, meaning that spouses can pass an unlimited amount of assets between each other without incurring any estate tax liability. If the spouse receiving property is not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident, the assets must pass in the form of a Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT).

A QDOT allows a noncitizen surviving spouse of a deceased citizen taxpayer to take advantage of the unlimited marital deduction on estate taxes for any assets that are transferred via a QDOT. To be a qualifying QDOT, the following provisions must be met:

- The trust states that its governing law is that of a U.S. state or the District of Columbia.

- The trustee must be a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. corporation.

- If the property transferred to the QDOT has a value exceeding $2 million, the trustee must be a U.S. bank and the trustee must post a bond with the IRS equal to 65% of the fair market value of the property.

Note this is a tax deferral strategy not a tax avoidance strategy. The federal estate tax on the value of the assets funding the QDOT is deferred until the noncitizen surviving spouse takes money out of the QDOT or passes away. If the surviving spouse becomes a U.S. citizen, he or she can then take all the assets in the QDOT, and the deferred tax liability ceases to exist.

For individuals or couples who are not U.S. citizens but own U.S. property, it is essential to create a comprehensive estate plan with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. Regardless of age, amount of wealth, or citizenship status, everyone must create an estate plan in order to protect against probate at death, incapacity, or simply to choose legal guardians for their minor children. Many factors come into play in estate planning for noncitizens that do not necessarily apply to citizens. Reach out to the estate planning attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area for more information on estate planning for non-U.S. citizens. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

August 8, 2022
Live Webinar August 14th 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.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for August 14th 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:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for August 14th 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:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for August 14th 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

August 7, 2022
Live Webinar August 13th 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 August 13th 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 August 13th 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 August 13th 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

August 6, 2022
How to Feel Young at Any Age
Age is a measure of time, but it does not require certain physical or mental limitations to be imposed at any certain time. Feeling young, energetic and free of pain can be a reality for many regardless of physical age if they follow certain steps.

Age is a measure of time, but it does not require certain physical or mental limitations to be imposed at any certain time. Feeling young, energetic and free of pain can be a reality for many regardless of physical age if they follow certain steps.

Reducing the Impact of Advancing in Age

1. Lack of physical activity is the number one thing that accelerates age. Walking, yoga, tai chi as well as other forms of exercise are the best way to feel young at any age. Going to a gym and doing repetitive, resistance exercises helps keep muscles strong and toned. Look for ways to insert more physical activity into your day. Take the stairs. Park far away.

2. Pay attention to your posture. Stand up taller and hold your shoulders back. Do not slouch. This helps to ward off potential back, shoulder and neck pain as well as provide a mental reminder to hold your head high with confidence. Act young and feel young.

3. Pay attention to your breathing. This can be done through activities like yoga, tai chi, qi gong or meditation. It can also have impact to simply pay attention to your breath regularly. Be aware of shallow breathing patterns and remind yourself to take a conscious deep breath, or two or three.

4. Seek out mental stimulation. Force your brain to work in new ways. Puzzles like crosswords, Sudoku and Wordle are fun ways to add mental stimulation.

5. Watch what you eat. A nutritious diet lessens the impact of aging and wards off many different ailments and diseases.

6. Eat slowly. Avoid overworking your digestive system by eating slowly and mindfully.

7. Lessen stress. Stress causes cortisol levels to increase which leads to inflammation and metabolic malfunction. Identify any stressors in your life and work to remove them.

8. Positive Vibes. More and more research shows that your thoughts have a huge impact on your physical body. Be aware of negative thoughts and emotions and try to convert them to positive thoughts and feelings. Think yourself to a young and healthy you.

While we have not located the fountain of youth yet, there are several lifestyle changes and attitude adjustments that can help you look and feel younger than your age. At Stouffer Legal, we care about our seniors and hope to provide information and inspiration to living a high-quality life throughout your senior years. For more information on our elder law services, contact the experienced elder law attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

August 5, 2022
Live Webinar August 10th 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.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for August 10th 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:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for August 10th 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:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for August 10th 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

August 4, 2022
Storage Options – Both Physical and Digital for Your Estate Planning Documents
There are two main objectives when it comes to the proper storage of estate planning documents – (1) preventing it from being lost or damaged; and (2) ensuring that it is accessible when needed. That accessibility may not always be after you pass away.

There are two main objectives when it comes to the proper storage of estate planning documents – (1) preventing it from being lost or damaged; and (2) ensuring that it is accessible when needed. That accessibility may not always be after you pass away. A comprehensive estate plan also provides your protection should you become disabled or incapacitated. The documents need to be accessible should that occur as well.

Does your attorney keep your original documents for you?

This question is often asked during an estate planning consultation. Attorneys prefer to store copies of your estate planning documents which can be used corroborate if needed. It is advised that clients keep their originals. This is best practice for several reasons. First, attorney offices are not static operations. Employees come and go. Locations expand and move. Taking the responsibility of storing valuable original documents for many clients is too risky and cumbersome.

Where is the best place to store original estate planning documents?

Keeping in mind the goals of safe keeping and accessibility, many choose to store these documents in a home safe that is fireproof. Some may trust the person named as executor and allow that person to store the documents in his or her home safe.

Others look to store the documents in a safe deposit box at a financial institution. While they are secure, your executor may experience difficulty gaining access when needed. You need to provide instructions and a key to your executor. He or she will still likely have to access the box in the presence of a bank employee.

What about digital storage options?

Keeping a copy of your estate planning documents in a secure, digital storage plan is a great idea; however, it does not replace the need to secure and access the original document. At least not yet. As our technology improves, our laws will likely evolve to catch up and this may no longer be the case. Storing your estate plan digitally is more than simply saving a copy on your computer or in the cloud. You need to ensure security and proper accessibility when needed.

There are currently three main services that provide secure digital estate plan storage – LawSafe, Everplans and DocuBank. All of them will securely store all of your estate planning documents while allowing restricted access to those you grant permission. Unless you enroll in some type of trigger email program, you still need to notify your executor that the digital storage plan exists. A trigger email is a service that checks up on you periodically and if you fail to respond, it sends an email with access instructions to your chosen recipient.

For more information on creating a comprehensive estate plan and the best way to store your documents, contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

August 3, 2022
Live Webinar August 9th 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 August 9th 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 August 9th 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 August 9th 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

August 2, 2022
Does a Verbal Will Hold Up in Maryland?
Far too many people make the mistake of putting off estate planning and writing a will. This can end with someone on a deathbed attempting to communicate verbally their final wishes for distributing their wealth or naming a guardian for their minor children.

Far too many people make the mistake of putting off estate planning and writing a will. This can end with someone on a deathbed attempting to communicate verbally their final wishes for distributing their wealth or naming a guardian for their minor children. This type of communication may be referred to as a nuncupative will, or oral will, because it is delivered verbally to witnesses. While this may have been an accepted practice in ancient times, nuncupative will are rarely valid in today’s modern world.

Any previous will, regardless of how long ago it was executed, will always override a nuncupative will. The reason lawmakers do not want to enforce nuncupative wills is that they are often difficult to prove. Trusting witnesses to correctly interpret the oral communication and remember it, especially during emotional dying moments is problematic in itself.

It is also difficult to prove that the communication was made while of sound mind. If you wait until your final moments to make these types of decisions, the stress from the situation could prevent you from make the best choices. Decisions made during high stress and emotional moments are often regrettable.

Some states will recognize a nuncupative will if the following conditions are met:

1. The person creating the oral will is dying or his or her life is in immediate danger.

2. The person has at least two witnesses present to hear the dying declarations.

3. The witnesses write down the communication as soon as possible and record it within 30 days.

Maryland does not recognize nuncupative wills at all under any circumstances, even if all the above conditions are met. In Maryland, a will must be written, witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries and notarized.

Do not make the mistake of delaying when it comes to estate planning. Regardless of your net worth, discussing your situation with an experienced estate planning attorney and getting a solid plan in place provides peace of mind. You know that you are taking care of your loved ones and putting your legacy in place.

While many emotions can be impediments to the process. Estate planning is not something to leave to procrastination. The process is not as dreadful as many may think. The questions asked during an estate planning consultation are streamlined and will help you organize your affairs.

The 4 Steps to Securing Your Legacy

1. Attend a workshop offered by Stouffer Legal. Sign up here.

2. Get paired with an attorney and set up your consultation.

3. Create and execute your comprehensive estate plan.

4. Enjoy peace of mind.

Contact us to get started on your estate plan. Do not wait until it is too late. Oral wills are not recognized in the state of Maryland so this will not be a last minute solution. Contact the experienced estate planning attorneys at Stouffer Legal in the Greater Baltimore area. You can schedule an appointment by calling us at (443) 470-3599 or emailing us at office@stoufferlegal.com.

August 1, 2022
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