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Nobody wants to think about their own death, but if you have assets and loved ones you need to protect, it’s important to plan for a future without you in it. Fortunately, The Saint Yves Law Firm is here for you, and you can trust our Maryland estate planning lawyers to help protect your legacy. Read on to learn why you should start estate planning now, then contact us for a free consultation.


When searching for a Maryland law firm, you are likely to come across various firms that make it difficult to narrow down the best option for you. The Saint Yves Law Firm team is here to let you know why we are the best law firm to partner with, as our ultimate goal is to meet and exceed your needs. Find out more below, and visit our website for a free consultation today!


Types of Divorce

1. Absolute Divorce ends your marriage officially. It resolves all concerns, including estate matters. Unless listed as a beneficiary on your ex-spouse’s policy, you are not entitled to any proceeds from his or her estate. You and your ex-spouse may remarry once the divorce is finalized.

2. In a limited divorce, only some significant matters such as support and alimony are settled and it does not end your marriage. Couples may file for limited divorce when they need the court to address issues such as child custody or finances before they can be qualified for an absolute divorce.

Legal Separation in Maryland

In Maryland, a “legal separation” does not exist. If you and your spouse are living away from each other with the purpose of ending your marriage, and no sexual intercourse happened during that time, a separation may be established. Depending on the duration you and your spouse are separated, separation may be a legal cause or ground for divorce.

Legal Reasons or Grounds for Divorce

One spouse must verify that at...


Passage of Marriage Equality – June 2015

Marriage equality has simplified estate planning or LGBTQ+ couples, but unique challenges remain.

  • Retirement saving rates are not as high as the general population

  • Marriage rates are lower

  • More likely to pursue adoption or surrogacy, which have significant financial considerations

  • Many couples have complex estate plans that need to be updated or dissolved now that same-sex marriage is legal

  • Not all states have workplace protections for LGBTQ+ employees

  • Family conversations may be more emotional and difficult

With whom are you planning? (not about net worth, not about age, it’s about making sure your wishes are taken care of)

  • As a single person

  • With your significant other – no estate planning, no legal protections specifically for their assets if a relationship ends

Financial Advantages of Marriage


Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Let’s start with the purpose of probate and why is it necessary to go to court to get probate documents when a person dies. The probate process begins when a person passes away. Next if there is a will or not, the estate needs to be probated to allow someone to take over the administration of the deceased person’s estate. This will constitute dividing out the assets, distributing them to the heirs and even can include the paying off of creditors. If there is not a will then the probate court will name an administrator to the estate of the decedent.

If there is a will, then the will is reviewed at court with the deceased person’s formal death certificate. The will is verified for its authenticity, and if in order, the administrator pays any fees and receives the document stating he or she is responsible for administering the estate.

When Does Fraud Become an Issue in the Probate Process?

Fraud is an issue whenever there is deceit in the process of probating the estate. For example, if the will was submitted and it was fraudulent, this...


The Harford County Bar Foundation is thrilled to announce the 2nd annual A Virtual Night In with One Eleven Main on January 25, 2022 at 6:00 pm.

You can message us for more details or get your tickets at:

***HCBF relies on fundraising events to fill the gap between operating grant funding and actual operating costs. HCBF has established offsite clinics to access justice to those who lack transportation or find themselves in need of emergency intervention.***


Updated: Oct 18, 2021

When you hire an attorney to help you with any type of case, trust or legal issue, that person is working for you in the capacity of a fiduciary, and needs to maintain the proper fiduciary duty with you in all dealings. Put simply, a fiduciary is just a person who stands in your shoes, or who is acting for you legally in your interest. The fiduciary is definitely an agent for you, who knows the law better than you do, and can help you m

anage and resolve your legal issues, whatever they may turn out to be.

As the fiduciary of your legal issues, that attorney that you hire is bound by the law to act accordingly to always keep your legal best interests at the forefront of your dealings. For example, if an attorney is hired by you, that person will not be looking to see how the attorney himself or herself can benefit from the case, transactions or legal issue. Your attorney needs to work only for you, is hired by you, and should keep your interests as the main priority of why you two are together in the first (and last) place.

Types of...


Updated: Sep 30, 2021

A major barrier for many MVLS clients is the inability to access the Homeowners Property Tax Credit because their name is not on the deed. Fortunately, with the passage of House Bill 610, as of July 1, 2021, for taxable years after June 30, 2021, surviving family members who stand to inherit the property under the decedent’s will or under the laws of intestate succession are eligible to apply for the credit. This will allow clients going through the lengthy probate process to access the credit and receive a more affordable tax bill. More family homes will be safe from tax sale and able to be transferred to future generations.

The deadline to apply for the credit is October 1, 2021.

The following required documentation must be submitted along with the Homeowners’ Tax Credit application for the surviving family member(s):

  • A copy of the will, trust or non-probate instrument of writing for the deceased homeowner(s).

  • A copy of the death certificate for the deceased homeowner(s)....


Updated: Aug 28, 2021

You can now purchase The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley!

To make the purchase, click here and scroll through the ticket options.


Updated: Oct 7, 2021

There are many worthwhile charities that people like to donate their money to each year. This can be a passion project, something that you love to see supported such as with a charity, or a charitable group of agencies that are just getting started. You are supporting your community, and many worthwhile causes when you support the charity of your choice while you are living. Accordingly, there are as many charities that some people will choose to leave money to when they die. In those cases, your philanthropic legacy will be appreciated by the charity and continue to help others after your passing.

What Exactly Is a Charitable Trust?

A charitable trust is part of your overall Maryland estate plan, where you will want to set up a charitable trust as part of your estate. You are able to set this up during your lifetime, save money on income taxes, and depending on the charitable trust you choose, find that you can take advantage of many benefits that a charitable trust has to offer.

Charitable Lead Trust

The first type of...


Updated: Oct 7, 2021

The advance directive is a legal document that will detail any medical or healthcare care choices that need to be made, when an individual is in a coma, on life support, or unlikely to recover from being unconscious. For example, if a person goes to an emergency room for a heart-related injury or episode, goes into a coma, and is diagnosed as unlikely to recover, then that individual cannot make any other medical or healthcare decisions – someone else will need to manage that individual’s care from that moment on.

Why Are Advance Care Directives Important?

Most people don’t plan to have a medical emergency, and that is the nature of an emergency– they happen without any notice. In the perfect world, everyone would fully recover from an emergency or unexpected medical event. But in reality, a person can feel fine one minute and the next be in the position of being unable to care for himself or herself. These are the times that another person must make the decisions, on how care should be rendered to that person going forward.

How Are...


Updated: Oct 7, 2021

The Code of Maryland Regulations states that child abuse and neglect in this state include many factors. These factors highlight abuse or neglect to a child in the form of:

  • Visible or not visible physical injury in a child

  • The child not receiving proper care or attention

  • The child’s health or welfare are at risk of harm

  • There are acts of child molestation or exploitation to the child (visibly seen or not)

  • The child has an impaired mental or psychological ability to function based on care or abuse

  • There is credible evidence that the child is physically or sexually abused, or that the child is being neglected in the home

Anyone who knows a child in our state should be on the lookout for any potential signs of abuse to that child, whether there is a close relationship to the child or not. People have said in the past that it could take a village to raise a child, but in these cases, it may take a village or a...

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DISCLAIMER: The Saint Yves Law Firm assists individuals with estate planning, estate administration, estate litigation, family law, tax preparation, and tax controversy issues in Maryland. Under no circumstances does this website, directly or indirectly, including, without limitation, correspondence by any means to or from The Saint Yves Law Firm, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship between you and The Saint Yves Law Firm. The act of sending electronic mail to this law firm or making an Online Contact Form submission alone does not create an Attorney-Client relationship.