BLACK LIVES MATTER

Author: Pasternak & Fidis

April 1, 2014

How Much Financial Disclosure is Adequate for a Valid Premarital Agreement?

Too Much is Enough. Two recent cases, one from Maryland and one from Virginia, point up the importance of financial disclosure in premarital agreements. In each case the challenging spouse launched a multi-faceted, and ultimately unsuccessful, attack on the agreement. Inadequate financial disclosure was but one facet of the attack. Had the financial disclosure been done […]

October 1, 2013

The Fate of Frozen Embryos When a Couple Divorces

John and Rita were married for five years when John was diagnosed with cancer. The couple then arranged to harvest and store embryos, using Rita’s eggs and John’s sperm, in case John’s cancer treatment rendered him sterile. The cancer treatment is successful, but John becomes sterile. The marriage then fails. John wants to keep the frozen […]

October 1, 2013

Powers of Appointment: A Powerful Estate Planning Tool

What is a Power of Appointment? A power of appointment is a power given to a person (oftentimes under a trust) which enables the person to designate who will receive property or an interest in property.  The person who creates the power of appointment is the donor; the holder of the power is the powerholder; and […]

April 1, 2013

Maryland Attorney General Opinion: Implementation of Same-Sex Marriage

As a result of voter approval, the Maryland Code has been amended to provide: “Only a marriage between two individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from marrying is valid in this State.”  Same-sex spouses and couples in Maryland are entitled to the same rights and obligations under Maryland law as opposite-sex spouses and couples.  On […]

April 1, 2013

The New Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act

In July 2012 the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) approved a new uniform act, the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act (UPMAA). The ULC (also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws) is a 121 year old organization of legal scholars and practicing lawyers. It researches, drafts and promotes enactment of uniform state […]

April 1, 2013

American Taxpayer Relief Act and Estate Planning

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”), which includes a variety of changes to the Internal Revenue Code, will affect most American taxpayers.  In this article, we will address the key estate tax, gift tax and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax elements of the legislation. Prior to passage of the Act, the federal estate […]

July 30, 2012

Maryland’s Highest Court Recognizes Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages

On May 18, 2012, in Port v. Cowan, the Maryland Court of Appeals unanimously held that Maryland courts will recognize a same-sex marriage validly entered into in another state for purposes of granting a divorce. Maryland’s highest court said that its holding is in line with Maryland’s history of according deference to marriages validly performed […]

July 30, 2012

Common Law Marriage Equality

A common law marriage is a marriage that is entered into informally, without a license. Informal marriages have been abolished in most states, but they are still available in a handful of states and the District of Columbia. The required elements of common law marriage in DC are: (1) cohabitation; following (2) an express mutual […]