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Estate Planning

We so often hear that hard work is the path to achieving the American dream. But retaining as much of our earnings as possible for our families can be a challenge. An estate planning attorney can work with you to assure that your hard work results in the accumulation of assets that are protected from liabilities. Asset protection planning can help you to ensure that gift and estate tax liabilities are minimized for your family after you have gone.

Like it or not each day of our lives we get older. If you need extended nursing home care, you will want to ensure that the assets you have spent a lifetime accumulating will not suddenly disappear. Your home and other assets will need to be protected for your surviving family members. The court will appoint a stranger to act as your conservator or guardian in the event you have not previously chosen one. These are issues over which you have control, and consulting with an estate planning attorney will allow you to plan for your future.

Each year people die who have not prepared a will. When this occurs, the law dictates how an individual's property is distributed, and a court may pick the guardian of your children. Dying without an estate plan can also increase the likelihood that your surviving loved ones will not be cared for. Too many people put off addressing these important issues. Don't let it happen to you.

In many cases in which a person becomes incapacitated, courts appoint outsiders to make decisions regarding the incapacitated person's financial affairs and health matters. The way to ensure that a person of your choosing who knows your wishes and will act on your behalf is to execute a power of attorney to designate an agent or attorney-in-fact.

Severna Park Estate Planning Attorney

Are you seeking peace of mind for yourself and financial security for your loved ones? A skilled estate planning lawyer can guide in creating a plan to pass your estate to your survivors with limited tax liability according to your final wishes. For nearly 40 years, estate planning attorney E. James Thompson Jr. has counseled clients in establishing wills, trusts, medical directives, and powers of attorney, and our Severna Park, Maryland-based law firm can do the same for you and your family. Contact us to discuss your estate planning objectives with an experienced lawyer known for providing clients with direct access and personable service.

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Estate Planning Resource Links

Federal Estate Tax Laws
Title 26, Subtitle B, Chapter 11 of the Internal Revenue Code, governing federal estate taxes.

Federal Gift Tax Laws
Title 26, Subtitle B, Chapter 12 of the Internal Revenue Code, governing federal gift taxes.

Social Security Administration Retirement Planner
The federal Social Security Administration provides retirement planning and disability benefit information from this website.

Estate Planning - An Overview

Estate planning allows an individual to plan for his or her lifetime objectives and to provide direction about the disposition of his or her assets after death. Estate planning can include wills and trusts as well as powers of attorney and healthcare directives. Estate planning is impacted by state and federal law, and any individual may find that more elaborate or creative legal means are necessary for his or her situation. Some of these more complex techniques include trusts, family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs).

An estate planning lawyer from Law Offices of E. James Thompson, Jr. in Severna Park, MD, can be an essential ally in assuring that your estate planning goals are understood and carried out. If you have estate planning-related legal questions, call Law Offices of E. James Thompson, Jr. today to schedule a consultation.

Estate Planning Basic Documents

Because estate planning allows an individual to ensure that his or her property will go to the people he or she wants, in the way he or she wants and when he or she wants, it is important for everyone, even if an estate is likely to be small, to have an estate plan. An estate plan can help to reduce tax liabilities, court costs and attorneys fees, and it can also make it easier for families to cope with the administrative and financial issues that arise after the loss of family members.

Estate plans should typically include at least two important estate planning instruments: a durable power of attorney and a will. A durable power of attorney is a document that authorizes a person to make decisions for a person who has become incapacitated, including decisions about the incapacitated person's property. A will is a document that sets out the plan to distribute a person's property after her or his death.

Documents relating to medical care can also be part of an estate plan. Documents to consider include a medical directive (also called an advance directive, a physician's directive, a written directive or a durable power of attorney for healthcare) to designate a person to make healthcare decisions for a person who has become incapacitated; a healthcare proxy (also called a proxy directive) to designate a person to make healthcare decisions regardless of a person's incapacity; and a living will to express a person's desire regarding the use of extraordinary measures to extend her or his life when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery.

Estate Planning and Financial Goals

Estate planning can help to identify and plan for financial needs during life and after death. Financial needs to consider include retirement income, college funding, replacement income following an unforeseen illness or disability and the needs of surviving family members. To meet these financial goals and to ensure appropriate utilization of assets during life and orderly and efficient distribution of assets after death, an estate plan may include making gifts to individuals and charities during life, purchasing life insurance, using revocable and irrevocable trusts, purchasing annuities and rearranging personal and business interests. In addition to federal gift and estate taxes, state inheritance taxes, which vary from state to state, must also be considered to meet financial objectives.

Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer

Asset protection strategies, healthcare directives, powers of attorney and other estate planning devices are an integral part of the services that an estate planning attorney can provide. If you have questions about estate planning, contact an estate planning attorney at Law Offices of E. James Thompson, Jr. in Severna Park, MD, to schedule a consultation.

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Office Location

Law Offices of E. James Thompson, Jr.
523 Benfield Road
Severna Park, Maryland 21146
Phone: (410) 793-1261
Fax: (410) 518-6695
ejthompjr@aol.com