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Live Webinar November 27th 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 November 27th 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 November 27th 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 November 27th 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

November 20, 2022
Live Webinar November 26th 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 November 26th 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 November 26th 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 November 26th 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

November 19, 2022
Comparing Critical Illness Riders and Long-Term Care Riders
Long-term care planning involves looking at your wealth portfolio and determining how to instruct your family to pay for any long-term care you may need. Long-term care costs in Maryland can be very expensive, often averaging more than $10,000 per month.

Long-term care planning involves looking at your wealth portfolio and determining how to instruct your family to pay for any long-term care you may need. Long-term care costs in Maryland can be very expensive, often averaging more than $10,000 per month. Some clients choose to designate certain funds to pay for this care and allow their estate to be depleted as a result. Others purchase life insurance to replace for their beneficiaries the amount used up.

Some clients purchase long-term care insurance for the purpose of paying these expenses. An increasingly popular alternative to traditional long-term care insurance is to purchase life insurance with a rider that pays for care. Since traditional policies are structured in a use-it-or-lose-it manner, the life insurance with a rider option is appealing to many clients. The two most popular riders are the long-term care rider and the critical illness rider.

Comparing the Riders:

What is the Benefit?

With the LTC rider the death benefit of the life insurance policy is accelerated to pay for care costs. With the chronic illness rider, the death benefit may be accelerated in the event of a chronic illness.

Eligibility

To accelerate the death benefits under a LTC rider, a health professional must certify that the policy owner is unable to perform two or more activities of daily living (ADLs) or is cognitively impaired. Impairment can be temporary or permanent. To accelerate the death benefit under a critical illness rider, the health professional must also certify that either the policy holder is unable to perform two or more ADLs or is cognitively impaired. The impairment cannot be temporary and the health professional must certify that there is not a likely potential for recovery.

How Are Benefits Paid?

With LTC riders, most policies are reimbursement based. Once the policy owner pays for the care, he or she can provide proof and seek to be reimbursed. With critical illness, it may be given as cash and used for any purpose.

Taxes

Neither type of benefit is typically taxable.

Elimination Period

The most common elimination period for both types of riders is 90 days. The policy owner is out-of-pocket for care expenses during the first 90 days.

Other Perks

With the LTC riders, some allow the owner to pay extra and receive a full return of premium and/or guard against inflation. These are typically not available with critical illness riders.

To get started on a proactive long-term care plan to help you and your family know the best way to pay for care, contact the experienced 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.

November 18, 2022
Live Webinar November 23rd 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 November 23rd 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 November 23rd 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 November 23rd 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

November 17, 2022
Including a Power of Appointment in Your Estate Plan
Part of planning involves predicting. It can be challenging to predict what your family’s finances will look like at the time you pass away.

Part of planning involves predicting. It can be challenging to predict what your family’s finances will look like at the time you pass away. It requires not only predicting your own finances but those of each beneficiary. Adding a power of appointment in your will or trust allows you to name a person and grant that person with the authority to redirect your inheritance if circumstances should warrant it.

What Circumstances Warrant Invoking the Power of Appointment?

A power of appointment builds flexibility into your estate plan so that a holder can decide at the time of your death where the assets in your estate should actually be distributed.

Debt. This can be useful if one or more beneficiaries has a lot of debt. Creditors may instantly seize these assets once transferred to that indebted beneficiary.

Wealth. The opposite reason would be if one of your beneficiaries is independently wealthy and does not need these additional assets. The assets could be diverted by the holder to a more worthy beneficiary. Often a holder may determine that a whole class of beneficiaries, such as your adult children, do not need the assets, but another class, such as your grandchildren, would benefit more from these assets.

Divorce.If one of your beneficiaries is in the middle of a divorce or a divorce may be a likelihood in the near future, the holder could divert the assets into a trust for that beneficiary to prevent the assets from being marital property subject to equitable distribution.

A general power of appointment gives the holder the right to redirect the inheritance anywhere they want, including charity. In contrast, a limited, or special power of appointment allows the holder to redirect assets among a certain group and under specific circumstances.

Tax Consequences

There are tax consequences that result from conveying a power of appointment. If you give a holder a general power of appointment, the assets are included in the holder’s taxable estate at his or her death and they are responsible for gift or estate taxes even if the power of appointment is never exercised. The IRS looks at the holder as having a form of ownership since he or she has control over the assets. A limited power of appointment avoids all gift and estate tax for the holder.

In Maryland, for a power of appointment to qualify as a “general” power of appointment it must specifically provide that the holder may appoint to himself or herself, creditors or the creditors of his or her estate. Using the language “to appoint by will as the donee sees fit” does not qualify the power as a general power of appointment and does not permit the holder to transfer assets to the holder’s creditors or estate. Adding additional language such as “to any person whomsoever, including his creditors or estate” will convey a general power of appointment in Maryland.

This flexibility tool can be very useful in estate planning. It requires careful drafting and a clear presentation of the appointive property and powers. To learn more about utilizing powers of appointment in your estate plan, contact the experienced 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.

November 16, 2022
Live Webinar November 22nd 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 November 22nd 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 November 22nd 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 November 22nd 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

November 15, 2022
Estate Planning Statistics
While the pandemic has increased the overall estate planning activity, many Maryland residents still do not have a plan in place. The statistics are consistent with other states and the country as a whole shows that only 32% of Americans have a will (Caring.com).

While the pandemic has increased the overall estate planning activity, many Maryland residents still do not have a plan in place. The statistics are consistent with other states and the country as a whole shows that only 32% of Americans have a will (Caring.com). Some other interesting statistics related to the field of estate planning:

Federal Estate Taxes

It is estimated that $59 trillion will be transferred from 94 million estates between 2007 and 2061 according to a study conducted at Boston College. Of this $59 trillion, $5.6 trillion will be collected by the IRS in the form of federal estate taxes. This number is difficult to accurately predict as the federal exemption amount fluctuates based on changing laws.

Estate Planning by Age

According to Gallup polls, a will is in place for those in the following age brackets:

- 14% between the ages of 18 and 29.

- 35% between the ages of 30 and 49.

- 56% between the ages of 50 and 64.

- 68% ages 65 and older.

Only 33% over the age of 55 have a durable power of attorney in place, and 41% over the age of 55 have end-of-life advance directives.

While 77% of adults believe that estate planning is important for anyone regardless of their wealth, statistics show that more adults actually complete an estate plan if they have a degree of higher education and have household incomes greater than $75,000. Most Americans believe leaving behind an inheritance is the right thing to do. Some are motivated by the need to provide for future generations while others want to prevent burdening loved ones with unpaid expenses and end-of-life costs. Fifty-two percent of Americans over 55 believe passing away without an estate plan is “irresponsible”, twenty-two percent say it is “inconsiderate” and fourteen percent say it is “ignorant” (Merrill Lynch).

Procrastinating

Why do so many people put off writing a will? The majority (74%) use the excuse that it is too confusing. The remaining 36% simply say they have not gotten around to it yet. A lot of the confusion surround the issue of believing that you need a certain amount of assets in order for it to make sense. Confusion around the costs and how to find the right estate planning attorney also exists.

Covid-19 Impact

The search phrase “online will” was searched on Google more times in April 2020 than any other time. More Maryland residents find that creating a will is more important now as a result of the pandemic. More adult children are encouraging their elderly parents to create a will now as well.

Every estate plan should take into account the following four considerations:

1. What do you want to happen to your assets when you pass away?

2. How will you continue to support your family after you die?

3. How can you avoid unnecessary legal, tax and other financial burdens?

4. What can you do to ensure your healthcare, legal and financial matters are taken care should you become disabled or incapacitated?

For more information, contact the 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.

November 14, 2022
Live Webinar November 20th 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 November 20th 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 November 20th 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 November 20th 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

November 13, 2022
Live Webinar November 19th 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 November 19th 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 November 19th 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 November 19th 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

November 12, 2022
The Not-So-Simple Will
Many clients search online for do-it-yourself estate planning forms or call an estate planning law firm asking for prices for a simple will. They are often convinced that it is a standard form where you simply change out the names and execute it.

Many clients search online for do-it-yourself estate planning forms or call an estate planning law firm asking for prices for a simple will. They are often convinced that it is a standard form where you simply change out the names and execute it. In these situations, we start to ask these clients some questions and slowly reveal to them that it may end up being a not-so-simple will after all.

Grandchildren

One of the first points we make is whether you have grandchildren and if so, do you intend to leave them an inheritance? If so, then a simple will does not contain the appropriate language to do this. If your grandchildren are minors, they cannot inherit outright under your will. There are many options for leaving grandchildren an inheritance, some of the most popular include:

- Creating another portion of your assets to be split among all the grandchildren. For example, if you have three children and six grandchildren, you would divide your estate in four portions. The three adult children would inherit ¼ each. All six grandchildren would divide the remaining ¼ portion.

- Set up an education trust and fund it with certain assets, like 529 plans, to be used for the health, education, maintenance and support of your grandchildren.

- Leave a specified amount under your will to grandchildren and direct that your executor establish a testamentary trust so that a trustee manages the assets for the benefit of your grandchildren according to terms that you decide. You can determine what age the children can access the assets and impose conditions on them to inherit (such as graduate from college).

Problematic In-Laws

Are you concerned about the spouses your adult children married and how they will gain access to any inheritance? If so, there are asset protection strategies available that allow you to set up a bloodline trust which protects those assets during a divorce and also from creditors.

Blended Families

Are you in a second or subsequent marriage? Do you or your spouse have children from previous marriages? A simple will is not going to properly allocate assets among natural and adopted children and stepchildren. This will take careful drafting by an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that you treat each family member the way you intend.

Beneficiaries with Disabilities

Do you have a family member, spouse, child, grandchild or potential beneficiary who suffers from a disability or mental illness? Is this person now receiving SSI, Medicaid or other government benefits or is it likely they will need these in the future? If so, you will need to set up a third-party special needs trust that either you establish now or direct your executor to establish at your death.

Business Ownership

Anyone who owns a business will not fit the category of a simple will client. Business interests can be complex and business succession plans need to properly align with personal estate plans of all owners.

Retirement Accounts

Do you have a retirement account that you intend to leave to someone other than your spouse? Your will may need to include terms for setting up either a conduit trust or an accumulation trust to assist your beneficiaries in the best way to inherit a retirement account.

As you can see, many of these are very common issues. A simple will rarely works for the majority of clients. Our intake process helps you identify some of these special circumstances so that you can properly address them in the estate planning process. For more information, contact the 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.

November 11, 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