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Granat Legal Services, LLC  ( strives to make estate planning less intimidating and easier to understand than many other law firms do. That’s one reason we launched GranatWills, in association with the Smarter Will™,  network of law firms.


Resolve to Protect Your Assets in 2016 September 21st, 2016

Our collective resolution at GranatWills is to help Maryland residents and the greater Maryland area rise above the average when it comes to having a will. It’s been said that more than 60 percent of American adults don’t have a will at all. With so many resources these days, that statistic is shocking. So we challenge you in 2016 to break out of that mold and resolve to protect your assets (and, thus, your family’s future), starting with these three considerations:

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Maryland Do Not Resuscitate Form (DNR) Versus a Living Will September 21st, 2016

The Maryland Do Not Resuscitate Form allows you to work with your physician to make certain advance medical directives known. If you choose not to be resuscitated when your breathing stops or becomes labored, a DNR will order emergency or medical personnel to only provide care intended to keep you comfortable and promote your dignity, rather than to prolong your life.

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Maryland Will for Single Parents: What the Law States September 19th, 2016

Mommy on a ShoestringWhether you’re divorced, you’ve always been single, or you’re in a committed relationship but not married: whenever children are involved, a will should be, too. A Maryland will for single parents is critical for several reasons. For the sake of having a clear example, let’s look at the issues an Maryland will for single parents can help address for a parent who is divorced.

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Holographic Wills: Legal in Maryland? September 19th, 2016

Holographic WillsHolographic wills (wills that are entirely handwritten) are not generally recognized as valid wills in the state of Maryland. Why? It’s not because they’re handwritten, but because holographic wills are usually not ‘witnessed’ properly.

Wills, including holographic wills, that are executed in Maryland should be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses. Each witness must be:

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Why Don’t You Have a Will? A Note From Richard Granat September 15th, 2016

Why don't you have a will

Why Don’t You Have A Will?

Why don’t you have a Will yet?

We’ve heard every excuse and have used some of those excuses ourselves. Here’s what I think: We just don’t believe we’re going to die. Not today, not tomorrow. So there is no immediacy. I put off writing my own will longer than I should have. I was already married and working as an estate planning attorney before it occurred to me—the night before a trip overseas—that I really needed to get it done. I’ve been called to the bedside of all too many individuals who literally waited until the last minute to draw up a will and other estate planning documents. Some were elderly, some were not. Most other clients I have are proactive by putting estate plans in place now. But statistics show that more than 60 percent of you still do not have even a basic last will. Is that truly acceptable? And at what cost?

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Rights of Heirs: Disinheritance Dilemma September 14th, 2016

Rights of Heirs: Disinheritance Dilemma

The purpose of a last will is to lay out your exact wishes, whatever those wishes may be. Wills are often contested when the expressed wishes seem counter-intuitive, taking away the seemingly natural rights of heirs in some way. Disinheriting a spouse, child or grandchild is an example of such a move that may raise eyebrows because it challenges the seemingly automatic rights of heirs.

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Three Reasons to Change Your Will September 12th, 2016

Three Reasons to Change Your Will

You have every right to change your will as often as you need. In Maryland, a formal revision to the will called a codicil can be created with the help of an attorney, or a new will can be created altogether as long as it clearly revokes the previous will. Under what circumstances should you change your will?

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Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship: Pros and Cons September 10th, 2016

Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship: Pros and Cons

Couples often own their homes through joint tenancy with right of survivorship, which means that they hold the title on the property together. This allows one spouse to inherit the entire property without a court proceeding when the other spouse passes away. This is a great idea in theory, but it may have undesirable consequences.

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Passed Down in Wills: Three Overlooked Assets September 8th, 2016

Passed Down in Wills: Three Overlooked Assets

Money and children: the most common “possessions” passed down in wills. But wills and basic estate planning can do so much more. Here are the top three out-of-the-box assets that can (and should) be passed down to your heirs with basic estate planning: » Continue Reading

Choosing a Personal Representative of a Will September 3rd, 2016

When you create your Maryland last will and testament, you will be choosing a personal representative (also known as an “executor”). This person is critically important in carrying out your wishes, but keep in mind that, for the personal representative, it is a very cumbersome and time-consuming job to be a personal representative of a will. This individual is responsible for settling all of your financial affairs after you’ve passed away. (If an individual dies without a will in Maryland, the person’s family and friends have to petition the court to be the personal representative of a will. Unfortunately, this could lead to litigation and fights among family members if two people both want to be the personal representative.)

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