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Showing posts from January, 2020

Major 2020 Estate Planning Law Change Affecting Maryland Marriages

There is a sweeping and complex change beginning October 1, 2020 in how married Marylanders will be able to distribute assets to their heirs that will especially impact inter-spousal estate conveyances.
The Issue
Under Maryland's current law, which affects anyone domiciled in the state who dies prior to October 1, 2020, in terms of determining the surviving spouse's legal share of her decedent spouse's estate assets, there is a distinction between "probate" and "non-probate" assets. Non-probate assets are assets that have a named beneficiary and pass directly to the named beneficiary upon the death of the decedent. Because they pass onto the named beneficiary and not in accordance with provisions in the decedent's will, they are deemed to transfer upon death "outside the will." Examples of non-probate assets include life insurance, revocable trusts, retirement accounts, and investment accounts which are designated as TOD (transfer on death) …