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Maryland income tax refund granted by the Supremes

The Supreme Court (Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne) has found that Maryland acted unconstitutionally by not giving its residents a full credit for taxes paid to other states. While Maryland was giving a credit for the Maryland state income portion of...

Mistake #8 – Failing to Take Care in Funding the Trust

It is not unusual for people to transfer existing assets to their trust, but then forget to add new ones. It bears repeating: a trust can only control the assets that are placed into it. Any assets purchased or accounts established after the initial funding is...

Mistake #7 – Not Keeping Your Plan Up to Date

Every estate plan is based on the personal, family and financial situations, and tax laws, in effect at the time it was created. All of these will change over time, and your plan needs to change with them. It’s a good idea to review your plan every couple of years or...

Mistake #6 – Not Funding a Trust

A trust can only control the assets that are placed into it. A good visual to use is that of a trust being an empty bucket and funding the trust is the same as filling the bucket. The trust document may be written well and have excellent instructions, but until it is...

Mistake #5 – Not Planning for Incapacity

If someone cannot conduct business due to mental or physical incapacity, only a court (guardian) appointee can take over for this person—even if a valid will exists. (A will only goes into effect after death.) A power of attorney can name someone to also act for the...

Mistake #4 – Not Naming a Guardian for a Minor Child

A guardian for minor children can only be named through a will. If the parents have not done this, and both die before the children reach legal age, the court will have to name someone to raise them without knowing whom the parents would have chosen. From my...