The Basics

The term “your estate” simply refers to everything you own. Estate Planning is important because there are  many detailed laws and tax rules that apply to the potential transfer of your property. Reasons to transfer property include for the benefit of family members or a charity, in the context of a marriage or divorce, for purposes of qualifying for Medicaid, in anticipation of illness or death or through a will. This includes all forms of property such as real estate, bank accounts, IRA’s and pensions, stocks and other investments, vehicles, jewelry and other valuables and personal belongings.

Tax considerations in the transfer of property include Gift Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax (in the case of IRA’s, for example), State Transfer and Recording Tax, Inheritance Tax, Maryland Estate Tax for estates worth more than $1,000,000 and Federal Estate Tax for estates worth more than $5,000,000 (as of 2011).

Other considerations include who has the right to transfer property, such as when there are joint owners, liens, life estates, or questions of capacity.

The Law Office of David M. Goldman can work together with you to identify your values and wishes for the eventual transfer of your property, and can prepare an estate plan that will best serve your needs. We are especially committed to serving the needs of the small estate, with fees and services designed to make estate planning affordable to anyone.

One of the most popular ways to transfer, or prepare for the transfer of, most forms of property is through the creation of a trust. Please see more about trusts by visiting our Trusts page.