One of the simplest things you can do to protect your hard-earned assets and manage your estate is to review your beneficiary designations statement. If you do not keep them up to date, a variety of disasters can occur. Three Women and a Man in a Coma Let me tell you a quick story. Years ago, long before I became an attorney, an acquaintance had a terrible car accident and was in a coma in the hospital. He was Read More
Pet Trust: Will the Dog Inherit More Than Me?
That is a distinct possibility in my house. But seriously, making provisions for our beloved pets or service animals is an important issue and potentially an estate planning consideration. While this is most easily understood in terms of your typical family pet such as a dog or cat, it gets more significant if you own other animals such as horses. At the end of the day, a pet trust might be the best solution. Our Read More
When is the Best Time for My Kids to Get Their Inheritance?
If you are like most parents, you want your estate to be evenly divided and given to your children if your spouse pre-deceases you. That is not necessarily set in stone; you can divide it up any way you see fit. But most people do follow the first scheme - by dividing their estate into even shares to give to their kids as their inheritance. But what does that mean if your kids are minors and how does that affect Read More
How Much of My Estate Does My Spouse Get?
The portion of your estate that passes to your spouse is called the marital share. Typically, you would provide for your spouse by indicating in your Will how much of your estate is to go to them upon your death. We often refer to an “I Love You Dearly Will” as being one that leaves everything to my spouse if they outlive me or everything to my children if my spouse pre-deceases me. For the vast majority of married Read More
Pour-Over Will? What the Heck is That?
I know what a Last Will and Testament is; but, what the heck is a Pour-Over Will? It’s a great question that we often get asked. It’s also one around which a great deal of confusion exists. Let’s sort it out. Pour-Over Wills Work with Trusts Pour-Over Wills work in conjunction with a Trust - be they Revocable Living Trusts (the most common) or Irrevocable Trusts. Does that mean that you need both a Trust and a Read More
How Much Does a Will Cost?
How much does a Will cost? It is perhaps our most frequently asked questions. At The Tyra Law Firm, we get this question a lot. Of course, it makes sense to want to know what you are getting into and to budget accordingly. As you begin thinking about your estate plan, take some time to shop around, and find the right attorney for you. While the price may be a factor, finding an attorney whose process and philosophy Read More
How Long Does the Probate Process Take in Maryland?
If you have recently been named a personal representative in a loved one’s Maryland probate administration, you are probably wondering, “how long will the probate process take?” You may have heard that the probate process can be long and fairly costly. In fact, there is a lot of variation in how the probate process works. Let’s back up and walk through the process together: My Loved One Just Passed, How Do I Read More
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will?
Many people don’t have a Will, whether intentionally or not. They might know that estate planning is a good idea but, for one reason or another, they end up putting it off or deciding to skip it altogether. I don’t mean to call anybody out here, but, if this sounds like you, there is something important that you need to know: not having a plan is a plan. It’s not one that I recommend, but it is making a choice about Read More
How Can I Protect My Teen When They Go Away to College?
Every summer, I am reminded of the intense emotions I felt all those years ago when my kids first went away to college. Sure, I was proud of them for graduating from high school. I was excited to watch them embark on the next step in their journeys. I was nostalgic about how quickly time passes, thinking of them as little toddlers running on the beach. But, most of all, I was scared. It wasn’t an active fear like I Read More
Do I Need an Estate Plan?
When do you really need to start thinking about your estate plan? When many people think about “estate planning,” they think about it in terms of age. Estate planning is often associated with retirement, prolonged illness, or preparing for passing. For that reason, it’s not something that is talked about often outside of post-retirement communities. However, estate planning is necessary at any age. In fact, estate Read More