Wills, Estates  & Trusts

McMullen & Drury, P.A. is a consumer law firm dedicated to consumer protection and vigorously defending the rights of our clients. Representing clients in and around Baltimore, Annapolis and Towson, we offer high-caliber legal representation with a practice that is designed to cater to your individual needs. We offer legal representation for wills, estates and trust and probate issues.

Our Wills, Estates & Trusts Services:

  • Wills, Estates and Trusts
  • Estate planning and administration
  • Estate litigation
  • Elder law
  • Tax avoidance
  • Deeds
  • Asset protection
  • Adoption and guardianship
  • Probate Administration

Wills

A Will Means More Than Making Gifts

A will is a document which can give you the power to control how your property is disposed of when you die.

But, it makes a big difference how your property is titled. A Will controls only those items of property which are:

a. titles solely in your name, and
b. are maintained without any beneficiary designation.

On the other hand, jointly titled property and property titled with a beneficiary designation usually passes outside the operation of a Will, and goes directly to the joint owner(s) or the beneficiary. The most notable exception is real estate titles jointly as “Tenants in Common.”

A Will also gives you the power to select the persons you trust the most to carry out your final wishes. We call such a person you “Personal Representative.”

Another important aspect of a Will is the power to appoint guardians for any orphaned minor children. Otherwise, a lengthy Court proceeding may be required.

With a trust in your Will, you can also protect the gifts you have made from being dissipated by:

  • the claims that creditors may have against your recipients,
  • the spouses of your recipients who are in unstable marriages,
  • the claims of government agencies which provide benefits to your recipients,
  • bad spending habits or mismanagement by your recipients.

Without a Will, you may forfeit the right to provide any of the above protections for your family or loved ones, as well as many other protections which your circumstances may call for.

Being without a Will is call dying “Intestate,” which means that your property may have to be distributed according to the rules which the state has created for persons without wills.

The Intestacy rules generally work as follows:

For a married person with adult children, the surviving spouse received only one-half of the estate; the children share the balance equally.

For a parent who is not survived by a spouse, the surviving children divide everything equally.

For a married person without descendants, the surviving spouse gets the entire estate, unless the deceased person has living parents, in which case the surviving spouse gets on $15,000.00 plus one-half the remaining estate, and the parents get the other half.

For an unmarried person without children or descendants, the estate passes to parents, or if none, siblings, or if none, collateral relatives, or if none, to the county board of education.

Contact McMullen & Drury, P.A. today at 410-337-8702, or browse the website for more information about our practice, our lawyers or to view some helpful links.

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