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Category Archives: Estate Planning

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Why Use a Living Trust over a Will?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

When you’re figuring out estate planning, many people automatically default to thinking about having a will prepared. However, have you thought about a living trust? Do you know the differences and why a living trust may be a better alternative to a standard will? Without either, your estate would likely pass to your spouse… Read More »

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Overview of Small Estate Probate in Washington DC

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

For individuals who died after April 26, 2001, and whose assets didn’t exceed $40,000, a small estate probate proceeding is an alternative to standard probate. Opening a small estate proceeding allows the court to appoint a personal estate representative to settle claims and make a distribution of assets. These types of proceedings are typically… Read More »

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Understanding the Difference Between Wills and Trusts

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Many people have heard the terms wills, living wills, living trusts, and irrevocable trusts, but what do they all mean and which one do you really need and/or want? These can be a bit confusing, and each has advantages and disadvantages, which is why it’s important to consult a qualified Washington DC probate and… Read More »

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Guardianship: Safety Net or Pitfall?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The legal world for most Americans is a murky one: an unknown cosmos of rules and regulations, which they hope never crosses over into their own. Unfortunately, the United States of America’s legal system doesn’t always work that way.Sometimes there are important legal steps that people should take to protect themselves from the unknowns… Read More »

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Reasons Why You Should Not Add a Loved One’s Name to Your Deed

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The question on whether or not to add a loved one’s name to a title deed is often asked by different groups of home owners. The elderly parent who hopes to bequeath the home to an adult child would assume that adding the name of the child would ensure that the property ownership falls… Read More »

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Own Property in D.C? Better call your lawyer!

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan D.C. has released a four-page memo detailing how landlords should proceed with regard to the cultivation and consumption of recreational marijuana on their properties. Most importantly, AOBA states off the bat, “we encourage members to consult an attorney for guidance on any lease modifications.” As of… Read More »

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What is a living trust and how is it created?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

A living trust is a trust that is created while the person who creates it (known as the “grantor” or “settlor”) is still living. The trust is created by the simple act of signing an instrument sometimes referred to as a “Declaration” or “Agreement of Trust.”However, no property is governed by the terms of… Read More »

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Reducing Estate Taxes Through Comprehensive Estate Planning

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Although state estate taxes vary, estates under $5.25 million are currently exempt from paying federal estate taxes. Reducing the taxable estate to be under this threshold amount is one of the main objectives of estate planning, and there are many strategies an estate lawyer can use to help you achieve this. An important tool… Read More »

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A Fiduciary Duty: Who Should You Appoint Trustee?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

You’ve built economic security during your lifetime through hard work and diligence. As you prepare your estate plan, you will likely utilize a combination of wills and trusts to minimize the burden of estate taxes, ensure your privacy and deliver hard-won assets to your named beneficiaries. In order to manage trust assets, you must… Read More »

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Knowing When to Change Your Will

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Despite the best laid plans, change happens. Details like estate plans may be overlooked or lost in the need to tend to financial or personal crises. What type of circumstances call for adjustment of your estate planning documents? Substantial change in wealth: If you experience either significant financial success or a decline in financial… Read More »

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