Category Archives: Partnership Planning

To see articles written by our attorneys on a range of topics, just use the links to the right.
Virginia Amendment Outlawing Same-Sex Marriage is Still in Place

In early February 2023, the Virginia Senate approved Senate Bill 1096, a resolution proposed by Senator Adam Ebbin that intended to repeal Virginia’s Marshall-Newman Amendment. The Marshall-Newman Amendment, which was approved by Virginia voters in 2006, outlaws same-sex marriage, explicitly defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Though both Senate democrats and republicans…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 03/24/2023

What Should I Do With My Living Will After I’ve Signed It?

The Health Care Power of Attorney and the Advance Medical Directive are critically important estate planning documents. The Advance Medical Directive (often called a “Living Will”) allows you to make your wishes known about whether to withhold life support in certain contexts. The Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to name someone (usually called…READ MORE

Author: McMillan Metro Editor 06/24/2021

Who Should Be In Charge If You Can’t Be?

Choosing the people to whom you want to assign responsibility in case the worst happens is a stumbling block that keeps many of us from creating estate planning documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.  Who should my executor be? Who could manage money for kids who will be my heirs? Who would…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 05/29/2019

Who actually owns your home? Check that deed!

Far too often, couples who live in homes together—married or unmarried—don’t understand how the ownership of their homes is actually structured. In the hundreds of times that I’ve sat down with couples to review their estates, we’ve uncovered ownership issues as often as not. Many of those less than ideal situations can be updated or…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 04/28/2019

Renovation Litigation: Here’s how to avoid it

I’ve been a lawyer for 42 years now and I have represented thousands of individuals and businesses.  But among the people who know me well, the real milestone is the fact that I have bought and renovated eight houses during that same time.  During just the past 17 years, my husband and I have owned…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 03/28/2017

Why Pre-nups Are Not Only for Rich and Famous People

You don’t have to be a Kardashian to need a premarital (prenuptial) agreement. Here’s why. Many of us enter into marriages after years of successful earning and asset accumulation. Maybe you built a business. You may expect to inherit money. Maybe you’re really attached to the beach house you owned before you met. Even if…READ MORE

Author: Cathy LaRue 09/30/2016

Seven Myths of Estate Planning

I’ve represented hundreds of same-sex couples and single LGBT people, and I’ve learned that many of them have mistaken ideas about just what estate planning is and how it works—especially now that marriage is an option.  Sometimes those notions keep them from taking rational and not-so-difficult steps to protect their families and assets. In a…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 03/15/2016

What Happens to Your E-mail and Facebook® Accounts When You Die?

A growing issue involves what happens to our digital assets upon death. On a daily basis, we create vast quantities of “digital assets” in the form of text messages, as well as images such as photos and media. Common examples include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, websites, contact lists, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, electronic books (such as Kindle),…READ MORE

Author: Ronald E. Lyons 03/17/2015

Don’t Play Password Jeopardy

Without looking, can you name the five most important online financial accounts in your life – and the passwords that go with them? I suppose you might be able to do that, especially if you ignore everybody’s advice and use the same password over and over. But now take that test to the next level….READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 09/10/2014

Think Twice Before Rolling Over Your TSP

If you or anyone in your household is a Federal employee, you know that TSP is shorthand for your Thrift Savings Plan – a retirement savings plan that many people outside the government truly envy. As I help clients with their estate plans, a TSP is often one of their biggest assets. Among other things,…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 08/18/2014

Marriage: It’s More and Less Than You Think

In the eight months since the fall of the Defense of Marriage Act, I have witnessed a huge rush to marriage among friends, clients and our community at large.  Many of those people dramatically underestimate the changes that marriage might bring to their lives, while at the same time being lulled into a false sense…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 03/25/2014

Big Issue, Short Take – March 2014

COMING SOON — MARYLAND ESTATE TAX RELIEF:   Last week, the Maryland General Assembly passed a law raising the estate tax exemption.  The Maryland estate tax exemption has been pegged at $1.0 million dollars for years.  With many other states having higher (or unlimited) exemptions, Maryland residents were incentivized to move out of State as…READ MORE

Author: Ronald E. Lyons 03/25/2014

“A new perspective, a new insight”…

Those were the words used by Justice Kennedy to describe our country’s evolving understanding of same-sex marriage. In his opinion finding the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, he declared that “same-sex couples should have the right to marry and so live with pride in themselves and their union in status of equality with…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 06/26/2013

Same-Sex Marriage in Maryland

The vote is in: 2013 will bring same-sex marriage to Maryland. This is a time for celebration, and we look forward to sharing your joy. We know that many of our clients have been waiting to get married until they could do it legally in Maryland. The new law will have many positive implications, especially…READ MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs 11/07/2012

Adding a Domestic Partner to Title

In the January issue of the McMillan Metro Alert, we advised our clients that the State of Maryland had carved out a limited exemption from the 10% inheritance tax for the devise of an interest in a principal residence jointly owned by domestic partners to the surviving partner along with the requirements for qualifying for…READ MORE

Author: Donna M. McMillan 08/25/2010

Maryland Attorney General Issues Opinion on Same Sex Marriage

Earlier this year, the Maryland Attorney General (“AG”) issued a long awaited opinion regarding the treatment in Maryland of same sex marriages validly created in other jurisdictions. While the AG’s opinion did not constitute a change in the laws of Maryland relating to the rights of same sex couples in Maryland to marry in the…READ MORE

Author: Donna M. McMillan 05/28/2010

What Happens When You Die Without A Will?

There are two things you can count on – death and taxes! Both of these issues can be addressed in a Will. If you die without a Will, the assets of your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy in the state of your domicile. In Maryland, distribution of assets owned by…READ MORE

Author: Ronald E. Lyons 09/01/2009

In a Divorce, A Beneficiary Designation Trumps the Divorce Agreement

The need for a divorced individual to look at all of his or her beneficiary designations on his or her retirement plans was made clear this week in a unanimous Supreme Court decision which upheld the beneficiary designation set forth in a retirement plan over the waiver of rights to the retirement plan under a…READ MORE

Author: Lona L. Feldman 02/01/2009