Author: Pasternak & Fidis

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 […]

July 30, 2012

Premarital Agreements and the Business Owner

Some people planning to marry want to enter into a premarital agreement. A business owner may have particular concerns that may cause him or her to consider a premarital agreement. There are a variety of issues the lawyer for the business owner needs to pay special attention to. Why a business owner may seek a premarital agreement. A business owner may want a […]

April 30, 2012

Adoption and Parentage in the District of Columbia—Closing a Loophole for Same-Sex Couples

A bill has been introduced in the District of Columbia City Council that would expand the authority of D.C. Superior Court to grant adoptions to same-sex couples. Under current law, a same-sex couple may adopt a child together if the petitioner lives in the District of Columbia or the child is in the legal care […]

April 30, 2012

New Year, New Opportunity to Clean Up a Marital Mess

With each new year comes another opportunity to evaluate one’s life and make changes for the better. That can be particularly true in the domestic context, where a marital mess may be lurking. This article explains how postponing or prolonging a divorce or living in an ambiguous marital status may have a long-reaching, even catastrophic, […]

April 30, 2012

Are Trust Assets Vulnerable to Claims of Creditors (Including a Divorcing Spouse)?

A question commonly raised by clients during the estate planning process is: “What can we do to ensure that the assets we give to our children will not be available to the child’s spouse at divorce?” (One answer is for the adult child to have a premarital agreement. See “Premarital Agreements and the Young Couple” […]