Jon has recently taken over as the owner of SinclairProsser Law. Jon’s interest in becoming an attorney was sparked by his desire to help others, including his personal experience with family and the problems that resulted from their failure to create an estate plan.
He was attracted to SinclairProsser Law because of their approach offering free estate planning seminars throughout the year, striving to make the public aware of the estate planning choices they can make to provide both financial and emotional security to their families.
Currently, Jon heads up the Elder Law Department of the firm, where he helps people protect their assets from nursing homes, establish guardianships, and works closely with the special needs community. He is admitted to the Maryland Bar and is a member of the Maryland State Bar Estates and Trusts and Elder Law and Disability Rights sections. Jon has presented educational seminars on estate planning and incapacity for organizations such as National Business Institute, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and the ARC of Prince George’s County.
Jon received his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law and was awarded the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for the highest grade as a student advocate in the school’s Elder Law Clinic. Jon resides in Annapolis with his wife, son and their miniature schnauzer. Together they enjoy traveling, as well as the many amenities that Maryland has to offer.
Colleen Sinclair Prosser
As the previous owner and manager of SinclairProsser Law, Colleen has spent more than a decade at the helm of a busy practice. She brings a wealth of Estate Planning and Estate Administration experience to the clients of SinclairProsser Law.
An established member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Colleen is a strong proponent of the living trust. She also focuses on wills, powers of attorney, living wills, probate, trust administration, prenuptial agreements, nursing home planning, and special needs planning. Colleen recommends long term care insurance and life insurance as valuable estate preservation vehicles and strives to assure the compatibility of her clients’ estate plan and financial plan.
Colleen Sinclair Prosser earned a Juris Doctor degree from The Catholic University of America in 1990. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Anne Arundel County Bar Association.
Married to award-winning artist Les Prosser, Jr., Colleen and Les are the proud parents of one son, Jake. She is a lifetime resident of Maryland who enjoys the outdoors with frequent trips to surrounding areas for biking, hiking and skiing.
Victor became interested in estates and trusts while helping his grandparents plan for their medical and financial needs. Early in his career, Victor worked at a large law firm in Baltimore County where he advised clients in various areas of the law, including estate planning, elder law, real estate, corporate law, contracts and probate. At SinclairProsser Law, Victor manages the Estate Administration Department, helping clients when a loved one has passed away.
Victor is admitted to the Court of Appeals of Maryland and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Estates and Trusts Section and Elder Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association, a member of the Prince George’s County Bar Association and the Anne Arundel County Estate Planning Council.
Victor received his Juris Doctor with a concentration in Estate Planning from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is a lifelong Maryland resident who currently lives in Millersville with his wife, daughter and son. They enjoy Ravens football and traveling, especially to New York to visit family and North Carolina to relax at the beach.
Alex’s personal experience with the problems that can result from an inadequate estate plan drove his interest in estate planning and estate administration. He counsels individuals and families to preserve wealth and ensure that their hard-earned assets are passing to the correct individuals, when they want and how they want.
Alex also understands that handling the estate of a deceased relative or friend can be a difficult time for all involved. As a result, he provides caring guidance through the probate or trust administration process. He is a member of the Estates and Trusts, Tax Law, and Disability Rights Sections and recently joined the Prince George’s County State Bar Association. Before joining SinclairProsser Law, Alex worked for the Department of Defense (DOD) where he received many awards for his investigative work.
Alex received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, graduating with cum laude honors. He has spent his entire life in Maryland and currently resides in Annapolis with his wife. Alex is a Baltimore Ravens football fan, enjoys traveling, and spending time with his family on the Chesapeake Bay.
Laura became interested in estates and trusts while practicing as a family law attorney. She quickly learned that each family has their own dynamics that shapes their goals. It became apparent to her that planning, and re-evaluating plans when necessary, is critical to families as life changes course.
Laura attended law school at the University of Baltimore. She graduated in 2009 with both a Juris Doctorate and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the College of the Holy Cross. In 2014, Laura graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law with a Master of Laws in Taxation after completing advanced courses in estate planning and tax.
Laura is admitted to the Maryland Bar and is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association. She is also a member of the Women’s Bar Association and several local chapters. Laura lives in Catonsville with her husband and daughter. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and traveling to Ireland, where she once lived.
ASK THE ATTORNEY
Attorney Jon J. Gasior
Q: What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and Executor?
A: The major difference is that a Power of Attorney is effective during your lifetime and the Executor takes action after your death. A Power of Attorney is a document that names a person to act on your behalf during times of incapacity, granting that person the power to manage financial affairs or make health care decisions for you. Upon death, any assets that were solely in your name are now administered by your Executor. This person would be named in a Last Will and Testament.
Attorney Colleen Sinclair Prosser
Q: Will my house automatically go to my son when I pass away?
A: It depends on how the house is titled. If the house is in your sole name, it would first have to go through a court probate process. The house may go to your son after probate, but it will depend on what other family members are living. If the house is in your trust, then there would be no need for probate.
Attorney Victor A. Lembo
Q: Who is responsible for the debts of a decedent?
A: The Estate of a decedent is responsible to satisfy any final debts and taxes owed at death. Many individuals believe the heirs or Executor/Personal Representative become liable to pay. However, absent circumstance, such as co-signing on a loan or agreeing to be a responsible party to the debt, the liability remains with the decedent. The Estate must examine the validity of all debt and the ability to satisfy it as an expense. If there are insufficient assets to pay valid debts or tax obligations, they do not become the burden of the family. Some individuals may decide to pay the debt for personal reasons or peace of mind, but the Estate bears the ultimate responsibility.
Attorney Alexander M. Pagnotta
Q: Do I really need a will or trust if my son is on my accounts?
A: Yes. When you do a will or a trust, you get to specify not only who gets your assets, but also who you want to manage those assets when you have passed away. That manager is called a Personal Representative or Trustee. If you do not have a will or a trust, then depending upon the titling of the assets, it will be up to the court to name someone to manage certain assets. This may not be the person that you want in charge, and they may not distribute your assets in a way that you see fit.
Attorney Laura T. Curry
Q: When should I start planning for Medicaid eligibility?
A: It is never too early to start planning for Medicaid eligibility, but it should be at least five years prior to the time that you need care if you want to protect the maximum value of the assets you own. You can still do some Medicaid planning if you wait too long but starting early allows you to make your plans to avoid temporary disqualification from coverage resulting from the five-year lookback rule.
Q: Does my revocable living trust protect my assets from nursing home expenses?
A: Typically, no. Creating a living trust usually means you retain a substantial amount of control over the trust and its assets. Because you’re still in control and trust assets are accessible to you, the assets held in the living trust are going to be considered countable assets for purposes of determining if you qualify for Medicaid coverage. One strategy to discuss with your attorney is putting your assets into an irrevocable trust and relinquish control of those assets to help you qualify for Medicaid.
Attend a Free Estate Planning Seminar
Making an estate plan is a big and important step – a step that no one should take without being informed. SinclairProsser Law’s free estate planning seminars give you the knowledge you need to help secure your legacy and provide a solid financial future for those you love. Visit sinclairprosserlaw.com for upcoming seminar dates at locations throughout Southern Maryland.