Avrine Law Firm, LLC

Avrine Law Firm, LLC Avrine Law is dedicated to helping clients achieve peace of mind by creating individualized & comprehensive estate plans aimed to protect loved ones, preserve assets, save taxes, and reduce the cost and time involved in estate and trust administration
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Avrine Law Firm provides an array of estate planning and administration services for individuals, their families and their businesses. Our law firm’s goal is to serve clients and their families with care, competence and respect. Because your satisfaction is so important, Avrine Law Firm pledges to listen closely to your concerns, patiently answer your questions, and provide the advice and legal services you need to achieve peace of mind that your family and assets are protected when the time comes.

Avrine Law Firm provides an array of estate planning and administration services for individuals, their families and their businesses. Our law firm’s goal is to serve clients and their families with care, competence and respect. Because your satisfaction is so important, Avrine Law Firm pledges to listen closely to your concerns, patiently answer your questions, and provide the advice and legal services you need to achieve peace of mind that your family and assets are protected when the time comes.

Operating as usual

05/22/2020

FIVE COMMON MISTAKES WITH "DIY" ESTATE PLANS.

In light of the current pandemic, many Americans are becoming aware of the importance of creating or updating their estate planning documents. With the extension of some states’ stay in place orders, it may be tempting to create your own documents all on your own. Whether you are considering writing your own will or using an online “do it yourself” (DIY) document creator, there are many reasons why this is one project you shouldn’t undertake without the help of a professional.

WHAT IS A "DIY" ESTATE PLAN?

A DIY estate plan is something that you “do yourself” without the advice of an estate planning attorney. Someone who DIYs their own legal documents could be:

A. Handwriting a “will” themselves;
B. Downloading a “fill in the blank” document that they got on the internet; or
C. Using an online document generator that asks pre-set questions.

BELOW ARE 5 COMMON MISTAKES ASSOCIATED WITH DIY ESTATE PLANS:

1. DIY ESTATE PLANS MAY NOT CONFORM TO THE APPLICABLE LAW

Forms that can be found on the internet may claim to conform to your state’s law, but this may not always be the case. The laws that apply to estate planning are determined by each state—and there can be wide variations in the law from state to state. In addition, if you own property in another state or country, the laws in those jurisdictions may differ significantly, and your DIY estate plan may not adequately account for them.

2. A DIY ESTATE PLAN COULD CONTAIN INACCURATE, INCOMPLETE, OR CONTRADICTORY INFORMATION

If you attempt to create a will using an online questionnaire, there is the possibility that you may select the wrong option or leave out important information that could prevent your will from accomplishing your goals. Potential problems could be made even worse when do-it-yourself services allow users to insert additional information not addressed by the service’s preset questionnaire: the information added by a DIYer could contradict other parts of the automated will.

3. YOUR DIY ESTATE PLAN MAY NOT ACCOUNT FOR CHANGING LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES

For example, if you create a will in which you leave everything to your two children, what happens if one of those children dies before you? Will that child’s share go entirely to his or her sibling—or will it go to the child’s offspring? What if one of your children accumulates a lot of debt? Is it okay with you if the money or property the indebted child inherits is vulnerable to claims of the child’s creditors? What if your will states your daughter will receive the family home as her only inheritance, but it is sold shortly before you die? Will she inherit nothing? As opposed to a computer program, an experienced estate planning attorney will help you think through the potential changes and contingencies that could have an impact on your estate plan-- and help you design a plan that prevents unintended results that could frustrate your estate planning goals.

4. MISTAKES IN EXECUTING THE PLAN CAN BE EASILY MADE

Under the law, there are certain requirements that must be met for wills and other estate planning documents to be legally valid. For example, a will typically requires the signatures of two witnesses, but state law differs regarding what is necessary for a will to be validly witnessed. Some states require not only that the will be signed by the will-maker and the witnesses, but also that they all sign the will in each other’s presence. In other states, witnesses are not required to be in the same room when the will-maker signs the will, and they can even sign it later if the will-maker tells them his or her signature is valid.

Similarly, for a valid power of attorney, some states require only the signature of the principal (the person who is granting the power of attorney) to be notarized, but some states require the signatures of both the principal and the agent (the person who will act on behalf of the principal) to be notarized. In other states, one or more witnesses are required—and these requirements may also differ depending upon the type of power of attorney (financial vs. medical) you are trying to execute. If you seek the help of an estate planning attorney, you can rest assured that all of the “i’s” are dotted and the “t’s” are crossed, and that your intentions will not be defeated because of mistakes made during the execution of your documents.

5. ASSETS MAY BE LEFT OUT OF YOUR ESTATE PLAN

Many people do not realize that a trust is frequently a better estate planning tool than a will because it avoids expensive, time-consuming, and public court proceedings that would otherwise be necessary to transfer your money and property to your heirs after you pass away. Even if you have created a DIY trust, if you do not “fund it” (i.e., transfer title of your money and property into the name of the trust) it will be ineffective and your loved ones will still have to endure the probate process to finish what you started.

Further, if you do initially transfer the title of all your assets to the trust, it is likely you will acquire additional property or financial accounts over the years that must go through probate if the titles are not transferred to the trust. Regular meetings with an estate planning attorney can help ensure that your plan accomplishes your goals and that your grieving family members are not left with major headaches after you die.

AVRINE LAW FIRM CAN HELP:

A DIY estate plan can lead to a false sense of security because it may not achieve what you think it does. If your DIY will is not valid, your property and money will go to heirs specified by state law—who may not be the people you would have chosen. An unfunded trust will be ineffective. Banks may not accept a generic power of attorney you found on the internet. Laws affecting your estate plan may change.

These are just some of the mistakes or unforeseen issues that could cost your family dearly. An experienced estate planning attorney is aware of any trends in the law that could dramatically affect your estate plan and has the expertise needed to help you design and create a comprehensive plan.

Call us today so we can help provide you and your family with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have an estate plan that accomplishes your goals and will avoid unnecessary attorneys’ fees, headaches, or conflict for your grieving family when you pass away.

05/11/2020
Avrine Law Firm, LLC

While many Americans are stocking up on COVID-19 “essentials,”many have completely forgotten about one of the most important items: their health care directives. If you want to make sure your health care wishes are honored in the event you fall ill and are unable to communicate them, then you need to appoint a medical agent.

PREPARING FOR CORONAVIRUS: THE #1 LEGAL DOCUMENT EVERY ADULT NEEDS TO HAVE:

As the coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life and leave Americans uncertain of the future, you don’t have to feel helpless during this pandemic. In fact, now is a great time to be proactive and plan ahead should you or a loved one fall ill. One of the most important and relatively easy things you can do (and should do) is to select a Healthcare Agent and set up your Advance Medical Directive.

WHAT IS A HEALTHCARE AGENT?
A Healthcare Agent (also called a medical agent, healthcare surrogate, a healthcare proxy, or a medical proxy) is a person you authorize in a medical power of attorney to make decisions about your medical care if you are too ill to make them yourself or are otherwise unable to communicate your wishes.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE A MEDICAL AGENT?
No one knows exactly how they will be affected by the virus, it’s best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Part of that planning is making sure someone can make healthcare decisions for you if you fall ill and are unable to make those decisions for yourself.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN CHOOSING YOUR HEALTHCARE AGENT:
A Healthcare Agent has an important role, and the person you choose will have the power to make critical healthcare decisions—like consenting to a treatment plan, whether to accept or refuse medical treatment, and which healthcare providers or hospitals to use for your care. As a result, it is crucial to think carefully about who you choose to fill this role. Many people simply assume that their spouse or their oldest child should take on this role, but they are not always the best suited. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an agent:
1) Emotional maturity.
People handle stress differently, and not everyone is able to set aside their emotions and make level-headed decisions when someone they love is suffering. In addition, some people are simply not assertive enough to act as a strong advocate in the face of differing opinions of other family members--or even health care providers--who suggest a treatment plan you have informed your medical agent you do not want. You should choose someone who is able to think rationally in emotionally difficult circumstances, even if that means you must look outside of your family to find the best person for the job.
2) Location.
The person you choose to act as your medical agent should be someone who lives close by and is able to act on your behalf very quickly in the event of a medical emergency or if you need your advocate to serve in that role for an extended time period. In current times, many people might be under a mandatory or recommended stay-at-home order, or may not be available or willing to travel to another city or state. Consider naming several alternate agents to account for someone’s potential unavailability.
3) Is willing/able to serve.
Acting as a medical agent can be a time-consuming and emotionally draining job. Make sure that the person you choose is willing and able to set aside the time necessary to serve as your patient advocate. Don’t just assume the person you want to be your medical agent is willing: Be proactive and ask if he or she is willing to take on that role. Keep in mind that if you are elderly, you may want to avoid naming a friend or family member who also is older, as there is a greater chance that they will experience mental or physical decline at the same time as you, which could impede their ability to serve as your advocate when the time comes.
4) Will honor your wishes no matter what.
Your medical agent has a duty to make decisions on your behalf that you would have made to the extent that he or she is aware of your wishes. This is the case even if your medical agent disagrees with your choices. As a result, your medical agent needs to be someone who is willing to set aside his or her own opinions and wishes to carry out yours. It may be prudent to appoint someone who has values and religious beliefs that are similar to yours to reduce the instances in which your agent’s opinions differ significantly from yours. Do not choose anyone that you do not trust to carry out your wishes.

Need help?
Medical directives may be among the most important legal documents you prepare - especially in light of COVID-19. Picking a medical agent can be tricky and we can help you think through your choice. We can also help with any other estate planning needs you may have—whether that’s setting up a financial power of attorney, last will and testament, or a trust. Please give us a call today to discuss how we can help you and your family.

05/11/2020

PREPARING FOR CORONAVIRUS: THE #1 LEGAL DOCUMENT EVERY ADULT NEEDS TO HAVE:

As the coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life and leave Americans uncertain of the future, you don’t have to feel helpless during this pandemic. In fact, now is a great time to be proactive and plan ahead should you or a loved one fall ill. One of the most important and relatively easy things you can do (and should do) is to select a Healthcare Agent and set up your Advance Medical Directive.

WHAT IS A HEALTHCARE AGENT?
A Healthcare Agent (also called a medical agent, healthcare surrogate, a healthcare proxy, or a medical proxy) is a person you authorize in a medical power of attorney to make decisions about your medical care if you are too ill to make them yourself or are otherwise unable to communicate your wishes.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE A MEDICAL AGENT?
No one knows exactly how they will be affected by the virus, it’s best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Part of that planning is making sure someone can make healthcare decisions for you if you fall ill and are unable to make those decisions for yourself.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN CHOOSING YOUR HEALTHCARE AGENT:
A Healthcare Agent has an important role, and the person you choose will have the power to make critical healthcare decisions—like consenting to a treatment plan, whether to accept or refuse medical treatment, and which healthcare providers or hospitals to use for your care. As a result, it is crucial to think carefully about who you choose to fill this role. Many people simply assume that their spouse or their oldest child should take on this role, but they are not always the best suited. Here are some factors to consider when selecting an agent:
1) Emotional maturity.
People handle stress differently, and not everyone is able to set aside their emotions and make level-headed decisions when someone they love is suffering. In addition, some people are simply not assertive enough to act as a strong advocate in the face of differing opinions of other family members--or even health care providers--who suggest a treatment plan you have informed your medical agent you do not want. You should choose someone who is able to think rationally in emotionally difficult circumstances, even if that means you must look outside of your family to find the best person for the job.
2) Location.
The person you choose to act as your medical agent should be someone who lives close by and is able to act on your behalf very quickly in the event of a medical emergency or if you need your advocate to serve in that role for an extended time period. In current times, many people might be under a mandatory or recommended stay-at-home order, or may not be available or willing to travel to another city or state. Consider naming several alternate agents to account for someone’s potential unavailability.
3) Is willing/able to serve.
Acting as a medical agent can be a time-consuming and emotionally draining job. Make sure that the person you choose is willing and able to set aside the time necessary to serve as your patient advocate. Don’t just assume the person you want to be your medical agent is willing: Be proactive and ask if he or she is willing to take on that role. Keep in mind that if you are elderly, you may want to avoid naming a friend or family member who also is older, as there is a greater chance that they will experience mental or physical decline at the same time as you, which could impede their ability to serve as your advocate when the time comes.
4) Will honor your wishes no matter what.
Your medical agent has a duty to make decisions on your behalf that you would have made to the extent that he or she is aware of your wishes. This is the case even if your medical agent disagrees with your choices. As a result, your medical agent needs to be someone who is willing to set aside his or her own opinions and wishes to carry out yours. It may be prudent to appoint someone who has values and religious beliefs that are similar to yours to reduce the instances in which your agent’s opinions differ significantly from yours. Do not choose anyone that you do not trust to carry out your wishes.

Need help?
Medical directives may be among the most important legal documents you prepare - especially in light of COVID-19. Picking a medical agent can be tricky and we can help you think through your choice. We can also help with any other estate planning needs you may have—whether that’s setting up a financial power of attorney, last will and testament, or a trust. Please give us a call today to discuss how we can help you and your family.

COVID-19 update:Avrine Law Firm stands with you and is ready to serve your needs in these trying times of the Coronaviru...
04/02/2020
Avrine Law Firm, LLC | Bethesda, MD

COVID-19 update:

Avrine Law Firm stands with you and is ready to serve your needs in these trying times of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are aware many of you are anxious to protect your loved ones. As an essential business, we remain open. We can assist you with your important estate planning documents, such as Financial and Medical Power of Attorney, Living Wills and HIPPA authorizations, as well as Last Wills, Trusts and anything else you may need to protect your personal and business assets. We follow all orders and guidelines of the Maryland State and Federal authorities and utilize modern technology to conduct most of our business remotely for your safety. Personal meetings, when necessary, are kept under strict distancing and disinfection rules.

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Dear neighbors, friends, current and prospective clients:

During this unprecedented pandemic, people understandably feel the urgent need to finalize their estate planning or to start it, to protect their assets and provide for their loved ones. We are an essential business under Governor Hogan’s order, and we are here to help you to do just this and provide you with a peace of mind.

In response to numerous calls and emails to our office we wanted to answer some questions you may have and to explain the precautions we are taking to protect your health and safety.

We recommend everyone to have in place at least the following estate planning documents to protect yourself, your assets, your family and even your pets:

1. Financial Power of Attorney

2. Health Power of Attorney, Advanced Medical Directive and/or Living Will

3. HIPAA Authorization

4. Last Will & Testament

5. Revocable Living Trust

Every situation is unique. We strive to provide the best service personalized to your family needs.

WE OFFER DISCOUNTS TO OUR FIRST RESPONDERS FIGHTING THE PANDEMIC ON THE FRONT LINES: POLICE, FIREFIGHTERS, MILITARY AND MEDICAL WORKERS.

Your health and safety is our highest priority. We follow strict safety procedures according to public health specialists recommendations and authorities orders. We offer consultations and meetings over the phone or using a variety of online applications for remote telecommunications, i.e. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime etc. If you have problems with setting up one, we can guide you through the steps.

Signing and notarizing documents is conducted using wide physical distancing, protective gear (masks, gloves) provided by us and disinfection before and after. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

A NOTE TO OUR EXISTING CLIENTS: should you seek medical treatment you may need your Advanced Medical Directive or Living Will and HIPAA Authorization. When you had your estate plan prepared, we provided you with the original of those documents. These documents are included in the leather binder under the tab labeled either "Health Care" or "Medical Documents." Please check and see if they are there. The digital copies of your main estate planning documents can be accessed online in your MyCase file and/or a flash drive you received from us along with your leather binder. In addition, many of you have a DocuBank card which can be quickly accessed by medical personnel to view your medical directives, if need arises. Please check whether you have easy access to any or all of these options. If you can’t locate these documents or cannot log in to your MyCase file, please call or email us. We will send you log-in information or email copies to you AT NO CHARGE.

In these trying times, we all are going through big adjustments. We wish everyone to stay well, healthy and optimistic. We are confident we will pull through this together and come out even stronger than we were.

We are here if you need us.

For more information, please visit our website http://www.avrinelawfirm.com

Avrine Law Firm, LLC | Bethesda, MD

Address

10411 Motor City Dr Suite 750
Bethesda, MD
20817

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(301) 442-2962

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Estate planning is an important and highly personal matter, yet it can be stressful and overwhelming. Avrine Law Firm strives to make estate planning and administration process go as smoothly and efficiently as possible by guiding clients through the process and working closely with them and their families.

Avrine Law Firm provides an array of estate planning and administration services for individuals, their families and their businesses. We offer comprehensive Estate Planning Packages that provide various level of protection to suit your unique estate planning needs and goals!

Avrine Law Firm is dedicated to helping clients and their families achieve peace of mind by creating individualized and comprehensive estate plans aimed to protect loved ones, preserve assets, save taxes, and reduce the cost and time involved in estate and trust administration.

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