25+ Years Of Legal Experience

Experienced, Compassionate Estate Planning Guidance

Last updated on January 18, 2023

One of the best and worst things about life is that none of us knows exactly what the future holds. Although the future is unwritten, we can be sure that none of us will be around forever. Therefore, it is important to plan for what happens to our assets and how we can care for our loved ones when we’re no longer around.

My name is Karen M. Selby, and I don’t just offer estate planning services – I’m passionate about this area of law. After losing my best friend to brain cancer, I experienced firsthand just how difficult, painful and confusing it can be when someone dies without formalizing their final wishes and taking steps to financially protect their family. I want to ensure that each of my clients gets to decide where their hard-earned assets will go and can communicate how they would like to be honored and laid to rest.

What Should Be In Your Estate Plan?

I practice in both Maryland and Washington, D.C., and while there are some statutory differences, the basic elements of estate plans are the same in both locales. Each estate plan can and should be unique and customized, but here are the common elements that your plan will likely include:

A will: This document is foundational to an estate plan. It catalogs your property/assets and denotes who should inherit these material possessions when you pass away. It should be as clear and unambiguous as possible and signed according to local legal requirements, minimizing the chances that the document could be either misinterpreted or challenged.

One or more trusts: A trust is a powerful legal instrument that allows you to control how, when and to whom your property is given. Trusts can be highly customized to meet your goals and meet the exact needs of your beneficiaries. They can also minimize estate taxes and reduce the need for probate.

A living will: Also known as a “health care directive,” a living will is a formal statement of your wishes for end-of-life care in the event that you ever become incapacitated and unable to communicate these wishes personally.

Durable power of attorney: Designating someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can no longer make or communicate them yourself (and if said decisions are not already noted in your living will).

These documents/instruments are included in the majority of estate plans, and yours may include additional tools as well. We can discuss your specific needs at our first meeting.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today

With offices in Waldorf, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., Griffin Selby Law PLLC serves clients throughout the region. To schedule a time to meet with me virtually or in person, call 202-844-5753 or click on the “Schedule An Appointment” button at the top of the page.