Legal Blog

Top 5 Weekly Scenarios of 2014

Welcome to Offit Kurman’s year-end countdown series, a look back at the top articles, news, and blog posts written by and about our team of attorneys over the past year. These lists collect the most thought-provoking content we had to offer in 2014, as chosen by our readers. In the midst of a divorce, what are my options for filing my income tax return? How can I continue to pay my father’s bills after his death? Will the government take all my money and my home before I can qualify for Medicaid? These are just a few of the questions Estate Planning attorney Steven Shane has answered his his weekly feature on the Offit Kurman blog. Entitled “The Weekly Scenario,” Mr. Shane’s column addresses the more particular and thorny aspects of asset protection, insurance planning, and tax exposure as they relate to estates. Here are the top 5 most shared and liked Weekly Scenario posts of 2014:

5. Restrictions for a Retirement Plan Beneficiary

Question:

Are there any restrictions on who I can name as the beneficiary of my retirement plans?

Answer:

As a general proposition, you have the freedom to decide who will receive the funds as beneficiary of your qualified retirement plan account at your death. However, there are at times legal restrictions as to whom you can name as a beneficiary of your IRA or Qualified Plan Account. Click here to read the full post.

4. Selling Estates

Question:

My mother’s estate includes two homes. I am the Personal Representative. Do interested parties (i.e. my other siblings) have a say in what they are sold for?

Answer:

The Personal Representative of the estate makes the ultimate call in how the estate property is managed and disposed of so long as he/she does it according to the Will (or if no Will, according to the laws of intestacy). Click here to read the full post.

3. Problems with Naming a Minor as a Beneficiary

Question:

Should I name a minor child as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy?

Answer:

The answer as always is that it depends on the objective of the life insurance. Click here to read the full post.

2. Distributing the Property of the Estate to Heirs

Question:

After the court approves the final accounting for an estate, how long do I have to wait to distribute the property of the estate to the heirs? I am the Personal Representative of the estate and all my siblings are pushing me to distribute and close the estate.

Answer:

In Maryland, after a final accounting is filed with the court, if all is in order, the Court will approve the account. The estate beneficiaries have 20 days from the approval order to file so called ‘exceptions’ to the accounting. Click here to read the full post.

1. Drafting Your Own Will Online

Question:

My mother did not wish to hire a lawyer to draft her Will, instead opting for E-Z Legal forms.  I think she has all of her property covered, but what happens if she misses something?

Answer:

When people attempt to put together legal documents themselves, I have found more often than not, something is bound to go wrong. Click here to read the full post.   Want more Weekly Scenarios? Start 2015 off on the right foot and subscribe to our blog.  

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