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Simpson Law, PA.

Thanks for the fast turnaround; our very nice trip to Russia was made better knowing all this was taken care of with your professional expertise…we will keep you in mind in the future…and when we know someone else is looking for estate planning help.

--Steve, Silver Spring, Maryland

Thanks so much for everything…I gave your business card to 3 co-workers… I gave you the highest recommendation!

--Elizabeth, Fairfax, Virginia

Thanks again for your help and patience while we dragged our feet.

--Debbie,Potomac, Maryland

Getting a will written, designating a power of attorney - these are all tasks that I knew must be done - but I had been putting them on the back burner. Suzanne made the process simple, quick and painless. Everything was done professionally and in a timely manner. It brings me peace of mind to know that all this is taken care of!

--Nancy, President and Founder, Moms, Inc.

Thanks again for being so thorough…stay in touch.

--Donna, Reston, Virginia

I really appreciated all you did to make this so simple and speedy. You have done a great job incorporating all our various issues. I hope to have opportunities to send other clients your way.

--Caitlin, Laurel, Maryland

Suzanne handled the preparation and filing of all the estate documents for me, my husband, and our daughter. This included our wills, general powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and others. Her explanations were always clear and thorough. Suzanne also found a possible problem in the wording on the deed to our house--- and recommended a simple solution. We are so happy to now have everything in good order. Working with Suzanne was a personal and professional pleasure!

--Terry

Thanks for letting us bring the children!

--Jennifer, Boyds, Maryland

Thanks for making it so easy and coming to our house both times!

--Don, Olney, Maryland

Suzanne is honest and knowledgeable about estate law. She will guide you to what best fits your needs and your financial situation. She is also very family oriented and that means a lot to me.

-- Linda

Thanks a lot for your help!

--Jan, Fairfax, Virginia

Thanks for everything!

--Cindy, Olney, Maryland

I am a lawyer as well, but my family went to Suzanne several years ago to prepare our wills and related estate documents, and we were extremely pleased with her services. From my professional perspective, she is very intelligent and stays up-to-date on the current laws, and on a more personal note, she is a very warm and caring person.

--Melissa

I’m telling my friends about you!

--Suzanne, Olney, Maryland

Thanks for making it easy!

--Paula, Rockville, Maryland

We worked with Suzanne to develop an advanced directive and will. It was a pleasure working with her -- she was helpful, very well-informed, thoughtful, and understanding of our needs. She was able to lead us through the process with clear instructions and had obviously done her homework before we arrived so that the process was efficient, with minimal back and forth. She has developed a very specific approach to writing advanced directives that reduces ambiguity and provides tremendous reassurance that our wishes will be fulfilled. She dispelled some misconceptions we had about wills and trusts in a respectful, courteous and patient manner, without ever making us feel awkward or uncomfortable. We absolutely trust her judgment and her recommendations which are provided with a commendable balance of professionalism and warmth.

--Anne

I've been a client of Suzanne's for almost a decade and, with flexibility and compassion, she has worked with me to adapt my plan to meet my expectations. I trust her advice and highly recommend her services.

--Donna

I had a unique opportunity to observe Suzanne's interactions with a diverse group of colleagues over a year of her participation in Leadership Montgomery and based on that I choose her to prepare my estate plan and to advise me about the process. She is a good listener who is well-respected by her peers for her thoughtful insights and assessments. I decided to retain her to prepare my own estate plan and felt she handled my case with competence and integrity, making the process very comfortable and easy for me.

--Katalin

Suzanne prepared our wills and other estate documents after our child was born. She helped us think through the consequences of the decisions we made, including making sure we had contacted our choices for guardians. We really appreciated her flat-fee based billing too. We knew exactly how much to budget for her service. As a great bonus, with her quarterly newsletter, we get regular updates on relevant legal issues. We have recommended Suzanne many times in the past and will continue to do so. She's a great go-to person.

--Wendy

Suzanne Simpson is the best lawyer I have ever met. She helped me in a most difficult probate case made extremely complex by incompetence of involved parties. She handled the case with efficiency, integrity, know-how and compassion making the best out of a very complicated situation. Due to her knowledge and efficiency my case was resolved in a positive manner. I have not enough words in my vocabulary to express my trust and respect for her ability to successfully finalize a case which other lawyers had deemed to difficult to handle. Kudos for Suzanne Simpson, Esq.!!

--Marta

Ms. Simpson was our attorney helping us form a will and all the related documents that are important when you have a child -- and even when you don't. What can I say? She has it in all areas. First and foremost, she is an honest person and I always feel she is focused on giving us the best advice. She is highly knowledgeable and continues to go to seminars and keep up with the latest changes in the law -- of which there are many! Her service is impeccable: prompt, calling back ASAP, polite. And in all the while I have known her, she has never made any reference to any client. So I know my own info will be kept private. And her compassion is true, something you need and want when dealing with life and death issues.

--Michelle

Suzanne was easy to work with and very knowledgeable. She explained advantages and disadvantages of optional language and was very helpful in developing our wills, health directives and powers of attorney.

--Wills client

My husband and I were referred by our financial advisor to Simpson Law and from the first phone call to Suzanne Simpson we were handled in a professional manner-she clearly explained all of our options, the laws involved, we made our decisions and within the time frame that we requested. High Marks---we plan on recommending Simpson Law to all of our business partners, family and friends as well.

--Mary Joe

She does what it takes to get the job done. Suzanne is caring and compassionate which is helpful during the estate planning process which can be very emotional in some cases. She is a pleasure to work with and her fees are very reasonable, unlike many other attorneys.

--Susan

Read more testimonials

As parents, we do all that we can to nurture the little beings that have been entrusted to our care. We love them, feed them, clothe them and cuddle them as much as we can. We do our best to offer them the world. What better way to continue to protect them and care for them, should an unforeseen tragedy occur that sweeps their beloved protectors away, than to leave a responsible and thoughtful estate plan? I know this is an unpopular topic. Healthy parents don't like to ponder their eventual demise…but, hey, this in fact does happen to everyone, hopefully later rather than sooner but as inevitably as April 15th will arrive.

There are very critical issues that arise should parents procrastinate or decide not to leave a Will. I believe that most parents would be surprised to find out that should they die, their property does not automatically pass to their spouse. In Maryland, if you die without a Will and your children are minors, one-half of your property goes to your spouse and the other half goes directly to your children. Most of us would probably not want to leave our spouse arguing with a sixteen year old over whether the inheritance from Mummy should be spent on a new Mustang. Even more surprising, should your children be over the age of 18 when you pass, your spouse gets only the first $15,000 plus one-half of the balance of those assets. Only if your parents are deceased and you leave no surviving issue does your spouse receive your entire estate. This outcome can easily be changed by drafting a Will that specifically sets forth how you would like your property divided. You can also predetermine at what age your children receive their inheritance, for example, a third at 25, 30 and 35.

Many parents worry about who would take care of their children should both parents die. Without a Will, the courts and social services are forced to appoint a Guardian for children that they do not know. There have been instances of custody battles between aunts and uncles for children left behind. These court battles, with their emotional and financial consequences, may have easily been avoided had the parents named a Guardian in a Will. Even though the court has ultimate power of appointment, the courts will normally give great weight to the preferences of the deceased parent in the Will.

The third major reason people draft Wills is to protect their family from unnecessary estate taxes. As of January 2013, an individual may transfer $5 Million (adjusted for inflation) estate tax free. However, for Maryland and some other states, an individual may only transfer about $1 Million free of estate tax. This may sound like a lot, but with the value of real estate in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area, life insurance policies, retirement accounts and so forth, it is not so difficult to reach the threshold. It's important for spouses to consider estate planning needs in conjunction with each other, and perhaps, to set up certain trusts within their Wills to take full advantage of tax savings. Keep in mind that the eligibility requirements for tax free transfers is always in flux, so the 2008 limits may be higher or lower from year to year.

I'll touch briefly on two companion documents to most estate plans. These are the Durable Power of Attorney and the Medical Directive. The Durable Power of Attorney appoints someone, usually your spouse; to make decisions for you should you become mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to make your own decisions. A document of this sort goes a long way in preserving an individual's dignity and respecting their values and beliefs. It also avoids what can be an expensive and embarrassing legal proceeding known as a Guardianship. A Medical Directive allows a trusted individual, again usually your spouse, to make difficult medical decisions should you become incapacitated and also sets forth your wishes concerning organ donations and similar matters.