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Tag Archives: Attorney David Galinis

Estate as Beneficiary of Life Insurance, IRA or 401k: Bad Idea

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

The last place you want your life insurance, retirement account, or pay-on-death (POD) account to go upon your death is to your Estate. Thus, do not name your “Estate” as the beneficiary on the designation form provided by your insurer, broker, or financial institution. However, even if you don’t make this mistake on the… Read More »

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Get Your Advance Directive: Don’t Be A Headline

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

In giving estate planning seminars, I am always trying to impress upon my audience the importance of planning while young and healthy. One of many reasons to plan sooner rather than later is to avoid being the subject of a news story like the one ran by the Associated Press on October 31, 2011:… Read More »

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Power of Attorney: Why Should I Give My Agent the Power to Make Gifts?

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

The idea behind a Durable General Power of Attorney (POA) is to appoint someone (your agent) who can manage your financial affairs if you (the principal) are unable to do so. The overwhelming majority of the language in the document describes the various things that your agent can do. Most POAs (including mine) contain… Read More »

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Safekeeping Your Last Will & Testament: 5 Recommendations

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

The result in most circumstances is that if your loved ones can only find a copy of your Will, you will likely die intestate. The laws of Maryland will decide what happens to your property, not you. (See The 5 Most Important Reasons to Have a Will). The time, effort and money spent with… Read More »

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Should I get an Advance Directive, a Living Will or a Health Care Power of Attorney?

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

The answer is the first one or the second one and the third one. The problem with answering the question is first and foremost one of terminology. For starters, each state calls these legal documents by different names. For instance, Maryland has an Advance Directive, Virginia has an Advance Medical Directive and the District… Read More »

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Should I Use an Online Legal Document Service to do my Will?

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

The question I get about online Wills (or do-it-yourself kits often purchased at office supply stores) is whether they are “valid.” I cannot answer the question in a global fashion. It is certainly possible to have a technically “valid” Will without using an attorney. It is also possible that the document will fail as… Read More »

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6 Reasons Not to Put Your Child’s Name on the Deed to your House

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

Instead of drafting a Will, many people just put their child’s name on the deed to their house. Their goal is to make things easier for their child by eliminating the need to go through probate. If the house is the only asset, this can be an effective way to avoid probate. (If there… Read More »

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Think Twice About Designating A Disabled Person as a Beneficiary

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

Despite your good intentions, naming your disabled niece as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy may not do her any good whatsoever. In this final installment in this series, I explain why disabled beneficiaries should be handled with extreme caution. This advice actually applies to all manner of property given to a disabled… Read More »

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3 Issues to Consider When Drafting your Power of Attorney

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

So you are now convinced that you need a Power of Attorney (POA) in place to help your family and loved ones take care of you in your time of need. Or maybe you and your aging parent have decided that a POA needs to be executed in anticipation of deteriorating health. Below are… Read More »

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5 Important Facts About the New Estate Tax

By Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP |

In December 2010 Congress enacted the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. This law created an entirely new estate tax regime. To understand the extent of the change, it is important to remember where we were prior to the new law. In 2009, the maximum federal estate tax was… Read More »

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