Blog – “Altman Speaks”

Jack of All Trades? Not In My Profession!


I am an Estate Planning Attorney. A recent case in Florida points out the dangers and pitfalls of attorneys wearing too many hats. An attorney who prepared various trusts and wills for a client, then sold the same client various annuity products.  The attorney was eventually disciplined and sued for multiple charges of conflict of […]

Gary Altman Discusses The Hidden Cost of Divorce with AARP Writer


Responding to an inquiry from an AARP Magazine writer, estate planning attorney, Gary Altman, Esq., offers some interesting food for thought on the hidden costs of divorce, as it pertains to one’s assets/estate. “There are lots of financial issues relating to divorce – particularly in the Boomer generation,” notes Altman.  “While there are generally few […]

Controversy Over Pepsi Cola’s Secret Formula


As odd as this might sound, I have never even tasted Pepsi or Coke.  However, that doesn’t make the recent case involving Pepsi’s secret formula interesting to me, as an estate planning attorney. Apparently, the heirs of Richard John Ritchie, who is credited with reformulating Pepsi-Cola in 1931, filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo Inc. for […]

On the Horizon: Maryland’s New Definition of “Child” and “Funeral Expenses”


Currently, Maryland State law (Estates and Trusts §1-205) defines a “child” as “a legitimate child, an adopted child, and [certain] illegitimate child[ren]…A child does not include a stepchild, a foster child, or a grandchild or more remote descendant.”  After the current legislative session, the Maryland legislature has taken steps to include, in the definition of […]

New Maryland Law Discriminates Against Pit Bulls


The Maryland Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) has issued a devastating opinion to the families of pets who happen to be short-haired muscular mutts or can be proved to be a Pit Bull or a Pit Bull mix. Regardless of the loving family history of you and your pet, and no matter how […]

Congress Debates the Five-Year Rule For IRA Trust Planning


In Recent Blogs, The Evolution of IRA’s: Why Designating the Right Beneficiary is Only the Beginning and The Importance of IRA Distribution Planning, we have discussed the long term planning goals for maximizing IRA benefits.  On February 27, 2012 in the Senate, Senator Baucus, in Senate Bill 2132, proposed a five-year rule that would result […]

Local Estate Planning Attorney, Gary Altman, Esq., Selected as DC and Maryland “Super Lawyer” as the Firm Celebrates an Exciting Year of Growth


[ROCKVILLE, MD] – May 2, 2012 Gary Altman, Esq., founder of the Maryland-based estate planning law firm Altman & Associates, has been named a 2012 Maryland and Washington, DC Estate Planning and Probate “Super Lawyer”.  The acknowledgement, as published by Washington Post Magazine and DC Magazine, marks Altman’s sixth year in a row making the […]

Not to Be Overlooked: The Residuary Distribution Clause


I recently had a client engage our services to assist with the probate of her mother’s Last Will and Testament.  After reviewing the Last Will and Testament several times, what became clear is that the document lacked a residuary distribution clause.  As you may know, the residuary distribution clause distributes the remainder of one’s estate […]

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Educational Savings Plans


Saving for a dependent’s education can be a daunting task.  We put together a chart outlining the most common educational savings tools and the pros and cons of each.  View and download “Balls and Strikes:  Don’t Fall Behind in the Count with Regard to Your Children’s Education” here. –  Gary Altman, Esq. and Adam Abramowitz, […]