Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Fulton, MD
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Attorney Verena Meiser is a partner with the Lewicky, O'Connor, Hunt & Meiser law firm in Fulton, Maryland. A top-rated attorney with more than 17 years of legal experience, Ms. Meiser serves individuals and families throughout the greater Baltimore metro region and surrounding areas who have legal needs involving any of the following:
· Estate planning and asset protection
· Social Security Disability and special needs planning
· Elder law
· Veterans Affairs planning
· Estate administration
· Trusts and trust administration
· Trustee support
Ms. Meiser holds Veterans Administration accreditation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as advanced certification in civil mediation. With these credentials, she is able to better address the needs of her veteran clients, and she can assist with resolving any estate-related disputes that may arise effectively and without the need for court intervention.
No matter her clients' needs, Ms. Meiser always provides highly personalized support and counsel, and she has earned a reputation for devising flexible yet comprehensive estate plans and trusts that are tailored to her clients' unique circumstances and goals. Recognized for her professionalism and service, she has earned many accolades from her peers along with numerous positive reviews and referrals from her satisfied clients, including the Clients' Choice award from Avvo.
A 1983 graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Ms. Meiser earned her Master of Science in applied mathematics from Claremont Graduate University in 1985 and her Master of Science in computer science from Vanderbilt University in 1988. In 2002, she obtained her Juris Doctor from University of Tennessee College of Law, and she is admitted to practice in Maryland as well as California.
Widely regarded as a leader in her field, Ms. Meiser has published several articles and conducted lectures and seminars across her region on a variety of estate planning topics. She is also an active member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the Howard County Estate Planning Council, the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils and the American Bar Association's Section on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.
Devoted to those less fortunate in her community, Ms. Meiser volunteers her time and services with Maryland Volunteer Legal Service. She also serves on the board of directors of Maple Lawn Farms Condominiums and is a former board member of FIRN, Inc., which assists immigrants and refugees seeking a new life in America.
- Healthcare Decisionmaking (2018) - A look at the current state of healthcare decisionmaking in Maryland
- Making Charitable Donations Abroad (2017) - Various strategies for making charitable donations abroad and get an income tax deduction at home.
- The Advantages of Having a Separate Retirement Plan Trust (2019) - Large retirement accounts may be safely planned for with the use of a separate retirement plan trust.
About Verena Meiser
First Admitted: 2002, Tennessee
Professional Webpage: https://lohmlaw.com/team/verena-meiser/
Pro bono/Community Service
- Maple Lawn Farms Condominiums Board of Directors – since 2011
- Annual participation in Maryland's "Law Day"; serving the low income elderly., 2014
- Board of Directors of FIRN, Inc., a non-profit organization serving the immigrant population, 2007
- Present Volunteer Attorney, Maryland Volunteer Legal Services (MVLS), 2018
- Present Member, NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys), 2018
- Present Member, Academy of Special Needs Planners, 2019
- Present Member, National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, 2018
- Present Member, Howard County Estate Planning Council, 2014
- Present Member, ABA (American Bar Association); Section on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, 2002
- Present Member, Wealth Counsel, 2014
- Admitted to State Bar of California, 2018
- Member, Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce, 2019
- Present Member, Maryland Bar Association, 2007
- Bryn Mawr College, B.A., Mathematics
- Claremont University, M.Sc., Applied Mathematics
- Vanderbilt University, M.Sc., Computer Science
- Advanced Certification in Civil Mediation, 2003
- Present VA Accredited Attorney, 2018
Other Outstanding Achievements
- Passed the July 2018 California Bar Exam and Admittance to the State Bar of California, 2018
- Estate Tax and Asset Protection Planning for Families and Business Owners. Families with loved ones with special needs. Retirees. Veterans. Young Parents. Business Succession Planning for Business Owners. Support to Individuals serving as Trustees., 2019
- Why set up a trust to handle a charitable donation rather than make a direct gift to a charity? The main reason is that the Grantor, the person setting up the trust, gets income tax, estate and gift tax benefits, while also allowing for the property to be invested in the trust for some period time before the trust terminates and everything is given to charity. While the trust is in existence, that Grantor or the Grantor’s family could benefit by getting distributions from the trust., Charitable Remainder Trusts: Why set up a trust to handle a charitable donation?, 2021
- ABLE accounts are for individuals whose disability began before age 26; and the disability meets the Social Security Administration’s criteria for a disabling condition, which means it significantly limits the child’s ability to function. Each person can only have one ABLE account, and there’s an annual contribution limit as well as a lifetime contribution limit. In addition, the child can deposit earnings into the account. It is important to monitor the account balance, because any amount over $100,000 counts towards the child’s resource allowance for means-based benefits, such as SSI, Medicaid, and State Waivers, such as Home and Community Based Options Waiver, Maryland Community Pathways, Maryland Health Choice and others. What does that mean? Since the child can only have $2,000 of resources to qualify for these benefits, if the ABLE account balance goes above $102,000 SSI payments would stop, until the balance drops below that level again. There are two kinds of special needs trusts, first party SNTs, which can hold the beneficiary’s own assets, and third party SNTs, which can hold assets that parents, grandparents or anyone else contributes to the trust. While a person can only have one ABLE account with a lifetime contribution limit, there are no limits for the number of trusts of either kind and no limits for how much these trusts can hold. First party special needs trusts, would be set up, if the beneficiary has more than $2,000 of resources, and there is an interest in applying for SSI and other government benefits. The beneficiary must have a disabling condition and be younger than 65 when the trust is established. When the child dies, the State may claim a payback, however, in this case, the payback would be for all services provided during the child’s life. A third-party SNT can be set up by anyone at any time. The biggest difference here is that there is No payback when the child dies. Parents typically use these trusts to provide for management of the child’s care for life. An experienced estate planning or elder law attorney would be able to advise parents on the design of such a trust, so that it becomes a solid, customized support structure for the child. Now, let’s get back to our original question: should you set up an ABLE account or a special needs trust? Generally, an ABLE account is not a good substitute for a special needs trust. Despite the additional costs of setting up a trust and administering it, these trusts are the parents’ most powerful tool to protect and support their child’s future. ABLE accounts are great additional tools: for example, if the child has a job and the child can save earnings and any unspent SSI benefits, - without violating the $2,000 resource limit. ABLE accounts can also rescue benefits if the child suddenly gets an inheritance. Consider both and seek the advice of an attorney with extensive experience in advising families of children with special needs. Protect your child’s eligibility for benefits and leave behind a solid support structure for your child’s life., Should we set up an ABLE Account or Special Needs Trust or Both?, 2021
- Did you just become the trustee of a loved one’s trust, or of a trust that holds your own inheritance? Let me give you a quick high-level overview of what to focus on, so you can build yourself a to do checklist., You became the Trustee of a trust. Congratulations! Now what ?, 2021
- I often get contacted by young parents who wonder if they need a Will. Some were told to get a Will, perhaps by their financial adviser or by members of their family. For many reasons, everyone does their surviving relatives a favor by leaving behind a Will, and young parents in particular!, We Just Became Parents. Do We Need Wills?, 2021
- This video encourages viewers to share important information for the development of a successful estate plan., Attorney Verena Meiser : How I Work, Financial Advisers, Accountants, Insurance Advisors, 2019
- This video describes our comprehensive planning approach for the entire lifecycle of an individual with special needs., Attorney Verena Meiser : Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Community, Financial Advisers, Accountants, Insurance Advisers, 2019
- This video encourages and motivates viewers to engage in estate planning., Attorney Verena Meiser: Introduction, Financial Advisers, Accountants, Insurance Advisers, 2019
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Last Updated: 5/15/2022