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Archive for May 2019

Elective Share Reform: What You Need to Know about Recent Legislation

This spring, the Maryland General Assembly passed nine bills affecting estate and tax planning, probate, and trust administration.  The most impactful and important of these laws was House Bill 99 (Senate Bill 192): Elective Share of Surviving Spouse.  After years of effort, the new law aims to better protect surviving spouses from attempted disinheritance by their partner. For hundreds of years England and most states in the United States have…

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Professional Handling of Referrals

By: Paul J. Schwab This article was originally published in the June 2019 edition of the Baltimore County Bar Association Newsletter, “The Advocate.” Maryland attorneys are required to “provide competent representation to a client.”  Md. Rule 19-301.1.  The Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct state that competency “requires the legal knowledge, skill thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for representation.”  Id.  With this requirement in mind, most attorneys limit their practices to…

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Maryland Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Report Released

The Maryland Comptroller’s Office holds unclaimed property records from hundreds of thousands of accounts, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.  The Comptroller’s Office attempts to locate owners through newspaper ads, media campaigns, mass mailings and outreach programs. Many do not realize there is money owed to them from unclaimed property. Current or former residents can search their names on the Comptroller of Maryland’s website to find out if the…

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Local Pediatrician Indicted for Sex Offenses

Dr. Ernesto Torres was indicted on Monday, May 20, 2019, on an additional 65 charges, including sex abuse of a minor and sexual assault.  These indictments followed an arrest on May 3, 2019, for the  rape of an 18-year-old patient.  Since his initial arrest, more than 10 more victims have come forward, including an 11-year-old girl. The 68-year-old doctor has been a licensed physician since 1979, specializing in pediatrics.  He…

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Two Lives Lost in Edgewood Group Home Fire

The attorneys at Azrael Franz are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured in disastrous fires. On Thursday, May 9, 2019, Ernest Milton Lee, 57, and Kimberly Ann Shupe, 47, lost their lives when the group home they lived in caught fire in Edgewood, Maryland.  A third victim’s identification is still pending.  The lone survivor was a man who jumped from a top floor window to safety. The fire…

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