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Monday, February 13, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Estate Planning Q&A Forum, Monday, February 13, 2012

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Question #1 – General
Can I name anyone to become the beneficiaries of my retirement’s accounts?

Answer #1
Generally, yes; however, it does depend upon the type of Retirement account set up, as some restrict beneficiaries to spouses and children. You should carefully consider whom you are listing as a beneficiary, particularly their age and their ability to manage the assets.

Question #2 – General
What are the benefits of having an accounts set up with a “pay on death” for my beneficiaries?

Answer #2
The beneficiaries of those assets receive their share of the assets immediately, as they do not have to undergo the probate process.

Question #3 – General
What type of assets can be held in joint tenancy?

Answer #3
Joint tenancy is a type of ownership in which two or more people share an interest in personal property or real estate.

Question #4 –Wills
Can my 16 year old child be a beneficiary in my will?

Answer #4
Your 16 year old child may be a beneficiary in your will; however, you should have a guardian provision included in your will as well to hold the assets for your child if you die while your 16 year old is still a child. The guardian will hold the assets of your child until your child becomes emancipated under the law.

Question #5 – Wills
If my minor child cannot legally be a beneficiary and I would like to leave them something in my will, who has control over the items left to them until they are legally able to inherit them?

Answer #5
Please see answer to Question #4.

Question #6 – Wills
If I am terminally ill, at what point do admissions and changes to my will become invalid?

Answer #6
It depends. If someone is terminally ill, that does not declare them mentally incompetent so that they cannot make changes to their will. As long as you are over the age of 18, understand the provisions of the will, and understand the disposition of your property in your will, and have not been declared mentally incompetent, you can make changes to your will up until your death.

Question #7 – Advance Directive
What is the purpose of an advance directive?

Answer #7
The purpose of an Advance Directive is to have your health care wishes carried out in your best interest if you are unable to dictate how you want to be treated. The advance directive allows you to make decisions regarding types of treatments and also allows you to appoint a Health Care Agent to carry out your wishes in the event you are unable to do so.

Question #8 – Advance Directive
What is a “durable power of attorney for health care”? Does this role actually have to be fulfilled by my attorney?

Answer #8
In Maryland, we have one document entitled an Advance Directive which combines the medical directive and durable power of attorney for health care. You are allowed to designate a particular person as your power of attorney or ‘Health Care Agent’. Once designated as your health care agent, that person is able to carry out your wishes with regards to health care treatment in the event you are unable to do so.

Question #9 – Advance Directive
If I create an advance directive, will it still be valid if I move out of state?

Answer #9
It depends upon the particular requirements of another state.

Question #10 – Wills
Do I have to have a legal will?

Answer #10
You do not have to have a legal will. Disposing of property both personal and real is entirely optional. If you do not wish to create a will, any belongings both personal and real will be disposed of in accordance with the Intestacy Laws of the state where you lived when you died.

MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Estate Planning Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, February 24th, 2012!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our Website, Facebook or Twitter.

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