103 Market Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
To: MASSB Members and Friends
From: MASSB Executive Board
Date: September 2017
Subject: Will Preparation or Amendment (No Charge)
On a trail basis for 2017 and 2018, we are pleased to announce a program under which a trustee of the MASSB Foundation (Mark Poerio, a Maryland attorney) will provide a new or amended Last Will and Testament for you, at no charge. The legal services described below are being offered in the hope bequests will be made to the Foundation, but nothing is required.
Question 1: What is meant by a “basic” Will (for no cost)?
- Our program will enable you to receive a Will that is designed to be valid under Maryland law, and to be suitable for straightforward bequests to anyone you choose.
Question 2: Suppose I want extensive estate planning advice, a living trust, or additional documents such as a power of attorney?
- The costs would vary depending on what you desire. However, no charges would occur unless you give advance written approval.
Question 3: What if I already have a Will or living trust?
- At no cost, you could either amend it or replace it with a new Will.
Question 4: What if I am married?
- Separate Wills for you and your spouse are available at no cost, provided the two Wills are almost entirely the same. See Q&A-2 above if further customization is desired.
Question 5: Would I need to commit to anything in order to move forward?
- No: your participation in the program is purely voluntary and would not involve any financial cost or commitment.
- The MASSB Foundation is merely hoping that you will consider leaving some amount (suggested to be $500 or more) to your county's fund within the MASSB Foundation.
- You may at any time choose not to make any bequest to the MASSB Foundation. Doing so will not change the legal services you receive under our program.
Question 6: If I participate in the program, whose attorney would Mark be?
- Mark would be your personal attorney, and you would be his client, meaning that he would be acting solely in your interests, in accordance with Maryland Bar rules protecting clients and their confidences.
- Because you would be Mark’s client for the limited purpose of having him prepare a basic Will for you, you would need to sign an engagement letter that Mark will provide on request.
Question 7: Do I need to hire a personal attorney to review the documents that I receive through the program?
- That is not necessary because you would be Mark’s client. If you have an attorney, you may certainly involve your attorney in any desired way.
Question 8: What should I do if I have questions about the MASSB Foundation’s Will Preparation Program, or want to move forward?
- We welcome to contact Mark by phone (443.756.1116) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). There would be no cost or obligation to proceed.
The MASSB Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization created by the Maryland Association of Social Service Boards (MASSB). See www.massbfoundation.org for further information.
(a) Transfer of Offer. If I or anyone were willing to make a donation to the MASSB Foundation, is the offer for producing a will transferable to someone we would designate, such as an adult child of mine or other relative?
- Answer: Yes, provided the person is a Maryland resident.
(b) Validity in Other States. Is the will portable if the owner of the will moves to another state?
- Answer: Although many states recognize and enforce a will that is validly executed in a different state, you should direct this question to an attorney within your new state if you move.
(c) One Will for All 50 States? Is a Maryland will, made for someone who is donating from out of state, valid in all 50 states?
- Answer: Because state laws vary, it would be a mistake to assume any will is valid outside the state in which it is executed. See the answer above for further advice.
(d) Out-of-State Residents. If I am not a Maryland resident, and I make a donation, could I participate in this program?
- Unfortunately, no (unless you are a resident of the District of Columbia). That is because your will must be prepared by an attorney admitted to practice law in the state in which you reside. Mark is admitted and active in good standing in the State Bars of DC and Maryland.