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Highest Court in the State of Maryland Recognizes Valid Out-Of-State Marriages

In a recent decision, Port v. Cowan, 2012 Md. Lexis 283 (May 18, 2012), the Maryland Court of Appeals held that Maryland courts will recognize a valid same-sex marriage entered into in another state for purposes of granting a divorce to such same-sex spouses who otherwise meet the criteria for divorce under the laws of Maryland. In support of its unanimous decision, the court cited the the general rule that Maryland courts will honor marriages entered into in another state, as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed. Further, that court determined that recognition of a validly-performed out-of-state same-sex marriage is not repugnant to, but is actually consistent with Maryland public policy, in light of several currently enacted Maryland laws that protect and support same-sex couples.

As discussed in a recent article on CNN.com, Port v. Cowan highlights the challenge faced by

Estate Planning in 2012

Estate Planning in 2012

April 24, 2012

Authored by: Mary Ann Mancini

Generally, there are three basic goals of estate, generation skipping transfer, and gift tax planning: (1) the reduction of estate and gift taxes upon transfer; (2) the deferral of the estate, generation skipping transfer, and gift tax burden; and (3) ensuring for the necessary liquidity to pay the taxes when they come due.

We are in the midst of very volatile times which, at least for a foreseeable future, although no one knows for how long, can provide opportunities to achieve these goals in particularly beneficial and tax-efficient ways. This is the result of the present low interest rates and the drop in value of most types of assets, which allows clients to engage in some estate planning that may not be available when interest rates rise and values are driven higher.

Please see full Article for further information.

The Elusive Insurable Interest Requirement

Life insurance is an important estate planning tool that many people buy to provide financial support for loved ones and to ensure that their estate will be able to pay estate taxes when they pass away.

The “Insurable Interest Requirement”. In the U.S., a life insurance policy can only be acquired by a person (or entity) who has an “insurable interest” in the life of the insured. This means the person who acquires the policy must have some reason to wish for the insured’s continued life. This requirement for an insurable interest originated in England in the 18th century when Parliament enacted a law requiring an insurable interest to stop the popular practice of wealth investors purchasing life insurance policies on elderly persons and persons accused of capital crimes so they could reap the profits when the person died (by natural or unnatural causes). This law remains in effect in

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