The Law Offices of Scott Alan Morrison, P.A.
Frederick
Location
301-694-6262
Hagerstown
Location
301-293-0010

Estate administration may become easier for Maryland farmers

One of the goals of estate planning is to minimize the impact of taxes while maximizing the size of the estate. This way, heirs and beneficiaries of the estate are not stuck with a tax bill that they cannot pay without liquidating much of what they are supposed to inherit. However, estate administration may become somewhat easier for some Maryland residents if legislators pass a bill that is currently before the House Ways and Means Committee.

The bill, proposed by Governor O'Malley, would affect family farms by increasing the estate tax exemptions for agricultural land. Currently, Maryland's estate tax is set at 16 percent, which is in addition to any federal estate taxes. For many farmers who are "land rich and cash poor," it imposes an undue level of stress on both them and their families when they pass away. Heirs are sometimes forced to sell the family farm merely to pay the estate taxes on it.

That strikes many as less than ideal. Under Martin O'Malley's proposed legislation, the state estate tax exemption would increase to $5 million. However, the legislation also includes a provision stating that for the exemption to apply, the land in question must remain agricultural for at least 10 years after the owner's death.

Although not all legislators agree on the specifics of the bill, they do seem to agree that such a bill is needed. That should come as good news to many Maryland farmers who wish to ensure that a farm that has been in the family for generations is able to continue staying within the family. Regardless of the outcome of the legislation, estate planning may well be beneficial in securing a relatively pain-free estate administration process.

Source: Southern Maryland Online, "Easing Estate Taxes on Farms Favored; Snack Tax Opposed," Justin Snow, Feb. 15, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Best Of The Best The Frederick News Post
  • Bar Association Of Frederick County, Maryland
  • NAELA National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
  • Maryland State Bar Association Inc.
  • Washington County Bar Association , DC Bar
Form Submit Button

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

For more information and a free consultation with a Maryland estate planning attorney, call us at 301-694-6262 or fill out the form below. We provide clients with the estate services they need.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

We have offices in Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland, to serve you.

Evening, weekend and off-site appointments are available upon request. Free parking is available at our Frederick office.

Our office will follow the same closing & delays as Frederick County Public Schools for both offices due to inclement weather.

Frederick Office
141 W Patrick Street
Suite 300
Frederick, MD 21701

Phone: 301-694-6262
Fax: 301-668-8884
Map & Directions
Frederick Law Office Map

Hagerstown Office
Cornerstone Wealth Center
19833 Leitersburg Pike
Suite 1
Hagerstown, MD 21742

Toll Free: 866-220-5185
Phone: 301-293-0010
Map & Directions
Hagerstown Law Office Map

Contact This Office Contact This Office