Montgomery County, MD Estate Planning Attorneys
SERVING MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, AND WASHINGTON D.C.
At JDKatz, we are experienced and professional lawyers focused on providing excellent legal services in the areas of tax law, business law, estate planning, elder law, and general litigation matters. Our legal professionals take a complex approach to problems that encompass our value-oriented business perspectives. Our dedicated attorneys and staff members are completely dedicated to our clients and the outcome of their cases. We strive to maximize the returns to our clients while minimizing their costs and risks. JDKatz was founded in 2000 and combines talented and dedicated attorneys. Our team collaborates not only internally, but with financial experts at our disposal to best serve clients’ needs. We are fully prepared to take on any case and focus on the best interest of our clients. We are dedicated to seeing your legal matter resolved in the best possible way. Do not settle. Call JDKatz.
At JDKatz, our experienced team of professionals and tax attorneys provide a number of legal services to businesses and individuals. We serve clients throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Our Maryland & Washington D.C. law services cover a range of legal matters, including domestic & international tax law, business law, estate planning & administration, and general litigation.
Our founder, Jeffrey D. Katz, began his career in the tax department of Big Four accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick. Today, JDKatz and its affiliates offer large-firm services in a more intimate and collegial practice setting, without the usual big firm, big-ticket sticker shock. Our significant resources enable us to identify unique solutions to our clients’ problems and execute quality solutions effectively and efficiently.
Many of our clients identify our consultative, team-oriented approach as a refreshing change from the perspective offered by many other law firms. We use state-of-the-art technology to provide our clients with unparalleled access to our attorneys and staff.
YOUR GUIDE FOR THE FUTURE
You don’t need a lawyer, you need a solution. Our people are our greatest asset. We have assembled a team of innovative thinkers who are problem solvers first and lawyers second. We apply “game theory” where appropriate to devise solutions which are specifically designed to keep our clients out of court, when possible.
We don’t want “clients”. We want partners. We believe that the individuals, businesses, and groups that we work with come as our partners and leave as our friends. We aim to become an extension of your team, and ultimately be thought of as part of your extended family.
There’s no ‘I’ in JDKatz. We believe that putting your needs at the heart of everything we do translates to your success. We believe that your success determines ours.
When people create an estate plan, they are preparing for what will happen to their assets after their death. When this is done, people often find it important to appoint a power of attorney. Sometimes, situations in an individual’s life occur where they are no longer able to make decisions for their estate. When this happens, the power of attorney is able to step in and help. A power of attorney is an individual who is given the right to make decisions about an estate for the person who created it when they are unable to do so themselves. This may happen if an individual’s mental or physical health deteriorates and they are unable to communicate their desires. In the event of this, their power of attorney may be responsible for making decisions in the individual’s best interest. They follow the wishes of the individual who appointed them as their power of attorney.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a person that can be involved big decisions of another’s life. If a person is dying or incapable of making decisions for themselves, a legal document can give another person the legal authority to make decisions on their behalf. This means a power of attorney must be a trustworthy individual who will act in the individual’s best interest. Many people choose a family member or a loved one to handle the job. It is very important that the power of attorney documents all of the individual’s wishes so they know the proper decisions to make if it becomes necessary.
A power of attorney does not have unlimited authority. Their power can be limited, as they only have as much influence as they are allowed. A power of attorney may be given the responsibility of making decisions regarding health emergencies, financial access, as well as other instances. The amount of control the power of attorney has depends on what is given to them. Because of this, each power of attorney may have different responsibilities.
Categories for Power of Attornies
There are different categories that cover different responsibilities that a power of attorney may have. These categories are broken up depending on what aspects of an individual’s life they are responsible for. The different categories are as follows:
General Power of Attorney: This allows the power of attorney to conduct the same fiscal actions that an individual would do for themselves. This may require filing taxes, executing contracts, or borrowing money.
Limited Power of Attorney: The power of attorney has more of a limited power than that of a general power attorney. They are restricted in the amount of authority they are given.
Durable Power of Attorney: This allows the power of attorney the authority to make decisions regarding an individual’s end of life care.
Springing Power of Attorney: This may allow them to come into power after a triggering event occurs. This may include a medical or physical disability.
Creating a plan for an estate is a very important thing for an individual to do in their life. It allows them to plan for what happens to the estate when their life is over. A big part of administering an estate after a person dies is the process of probate. Probate works to decide whether or not an individual’s will is a valid document. It also determines the value of their assets in addition to any outstanding debts or taxes that must still be paid. When an individual passes away, there is a chance they may have an estate to be administered and a will that has to go through probate. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney if you are handling the estate administration process.
Filing a Will to Probate
When a person creates an estate plan, they typically appoint an executor to take care of the administrative process. To begin, the executor must file the person’s will in the Surrogate Court where the individual lived. This requires the executor to provide the court with the death certificate, the probate petition, and any other documents that may be necessary. After the will is filed, any beneficiaries of the estate receive notice of where the probate will occur.
Probate is the process of establishing an individual’s will as valid or not. When a will is created, there are guidelines that must be followed in order for it to be legal. The guidelines require the individual writing the will to be of sound mind while they sign the document in front of witnesses, without being coerced into doing so. If the requirements are not met, the will may not pass probate. If the Surrogate Court determines the will as valid, the administration process can continue.
Closing an Estate
After a will passes probate, the executor is able to continue their remaining responsibilities. This may include that they pay off any debts or taxes, resolve contests to the will, and distribute all assets to the correct beneficiaries. When the court sees the executor completed their job, the process can end and the estate can close.
When an individual creates an estate plan, they are preparing for what happens to their assets after they pass away. Part of creating an estate plan requires the individual to assign an executor to take care of these plans. An executor is chosen in order to ensure an estate is handled the way it was intended to be. This is a very important job, as they are required to carry out a loved one’s final wishes during a very difficult time. An executor is tasked with many responsibilities. When the individual who created the will passes away, they can begin to handle the administration process.
What does an Executor do?
An executor is accountable for managing an individual’s assets when their life is over. They are in charge of the estate and must make sure it is handled correctly. Like all jobs, being an executor comes with tasks that must be completed. The first thing an executor is required to do is bring the will in the estate plan to court so that the process of probate may begin and the will can be approved. When this is done, they must take care of any finances, such as outstanding payments or taxes that must be paid off. To do so, the executor may need to enlist the help of an attorney or an accountant to ensure the payments are being made correctly. Another important part of the estate administration process is correctly distributing all assets in the estate to their beneficiaries. If the will is at all contested, the executor is responsible for solving any issues.
It is possible for an executor to be removed from their position. This can happen if they do not do their job properly. Examples of this may be negligence in handling the estate or the failure to act in the best interest of the estate and the individual who created it. If an executor exhibits this type of activity, a motion may be filed to have them removed from the position. A judge will then either approve or deny this motion and possibly assign a new executor to finish the job.
Choosing an Executor
When a person is creating an estate plan, it is important to consider who they wish to carry out these plans. This is a very large decision that should not be made impulsively. The job should belong to a person whom you trust to take care of your last wishes. It should be a person who can handle a very overwhelming and drawn-out process.