Andre O. McDonald | Howard Estate Lawyer | Maryland

Andre McDonald Lawyer

Andre O. McDonald update listing

Estate, Elder Law, Business, Power of Attorney, Lawsuit & Dispute


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Andre O. McDonald is the founder and principal attorney at McDonald Law Firm, a Columbia law firm serving clients throughout Howard County and the surrounding Counties in the areas of estate planning, elder law and business planning.

Since Mr. McDonald was admitted to the Maryland Bar, he has served as a volunteer attorney with the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland and the Bar Association of Baltimore City Senior Legal Services, where he has helped Maryland low-income seniors with their estate planning needs.

While in law school, Mr. McDonald served as a student attorney with the Washtenaw County Public Defender Office and the SixtyPlus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic. At the Public Defender Office, Mr. McDonald advocated on behalf of indigent defendants charged with misdemeanors and felonies. Additionally, Mr. McDonald represented low-income seniors with a wide range of civil matters during his tenure with the SixtyPlus, Inc., Elderlaw Clinic. He also served as the court appointed guardianship reviewer for, the Circuit Court of Michigan for, Ingham County, Clinton County, and Eaton County. Mr. McDonald served as an Ambassador for the law school, mentoring newly-admitted first-year law students.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. McDonald served our nation as an Enlisted Officer with the United States Marine Corps. He also served for several years as a Federal Security Officer with the Department of Homeland Security where he trained new officers and mediated and resolved disputes regarding officer disciplinary action or officer-management matters. This breadth of experience helps Mr. McDonald deliver legal services and work with clients in a practical, goal-oriented manner.
Position Organization Location Duration
Principal AttorneyMcDonald Law Firm, LLCColumbia, MD2015-Present
Law ClerkWashtenaw Public Defender's OfficeAnn Arbor, MI2014-2014
Student AttorneySixty Plus, Inc., Elder Law Clinic, Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolLansing, MI2013-2014
Federal OfficerDepartment of Homeland SecurityJamaica, NY2006-2011
School Degree Major Graduation
Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolJ.D. Law School2014  
St. John's UniversityM.A.Government and International Affairs2011
Long Island University, C.W. Post CampusB.A.Political Science2008
State / Court Date
United States District Court for the District of Maryland2016
Maryland2015
  • Member | Maryland State Bar Association
    Member | Howard County Bar Association
    Member | Howard County Estate Planning Council
    Member | Bar Association of Baltimore County
    Member | Wealth Counsel
  • The Board of Directors' Award | Sixty Plus, Inc., Elder Law Clinic | 2013
    Melissa Mitchell Leadership Award | Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley School of Law Moot Court Board | 2012
  • Five Things You Need to Know About the Recently Enacted ABLE Act

    On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) into law.  The ABLE Act will allow special needs individuals or certain individuals with disabilities to establish tax-free savings accounts that can be used to cover expenses not otherwise covered by government sponsored programs. These accounts can be a great alternative or supplement to special needs or supplemental needs trusts.

    Here are five important things you need to know about the ABLE Act.

    1.        What is an ABLE account?  An ABLE account is similar to a 529 education savings account that helps families save for college. It is a tax-free, state-based private savings account that can be used to pay for the care of special needs individuals. Although income earned in the account will not be taxed, contributions to the account will not be tax deductible.

    2.        Who is eligible for an ABLE account?  Eligibility will be limited to individuals with significant disabilities with an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years of age. If an individual meets these criteria and is also receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI, they are automatically eligible to establish an ABLE account. If the individual is not a recipient of SSI and/or SSDI but still meets the age of onset disability requirement, they will still be eligible to open an ABLE account if the SSI criteria regarding significant functional limitations are met. In addition, the disabled individual may be over the age of 26 and establish an account if the individual has documentation of their disability that shows the age of onset occurred before the age of 26.

    3.        What are the limits for contributions to an ABLE account? Each individual state will determine the total limit that can be contributed to an ABLE account over time.  Although we’ll need to wait for regulations to know the exact amount that can be contributed, the Act states that any individual can make annual contributions to an ABLE account up to the gift tax exemption limit (which is $14,000 in 2016). If the disabled individual is receiving SSI and Medicaid, the first $100,000 held in an ABLE account will be exempted from the SSI $2,000 individual resource limit. If an ABLE account exceeds $100,000, the account beneficiary will be suspended from eligibility for SSI benefits but will continue to be eligible for Medicaid. Upon the death of the account beneficiary, assets remaining in the ABLE account will be reimbursed to any state Medicaid plan that provided assistance from the day the ABLE account was established.

    4.        What types of expenses can be paid from an ABLE account? An ABLE account may be used to pay for a “qualified disability expense,” which means any expense related to the beneficiary as a result of living with their disability. These expenses may include medical and dental care, education, employment training, housing, assistive technology, personal support services, health care expenses, financial management, and administrative services.  
     
    5.        When will able accounts be available? Although the ABLE Act was signed into law in December 2014, its implementation was delayed due to the drafting of regulations by the Department of Treasury before states can begin to set up procedures for managing ABLE accounts. At the end of the 2016 legislative session, the Maryland State Assembly passed House Bill 431, Maryland Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program. This Bill created Maryland’s ABLE program and was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. Maryland’s ABLE program becomes operational in 2017!

    Since the money in an ABLE account can grow tax free and be accessed on a tax-free basis for qualifying expenses, these accounts could be a valuable resource for special needs individuals and their families. Although we’re waiting on full implementation of the ABLE program, now is the time to begin thinking about whether an ABLE account is a good fit for your family’s circumstances. Please contact McDonald Law Firm today and Andre O. McDonald, a knowledgeable Howard County special needs planning attorney to learn more about a Maryland ABLE accounts and special needs planning.
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Service Type: Private

Update Date: 2016-08-03

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Andre O. McDonald
10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Ste 420
Columbia, MD 21044
39.211909,-76.864358

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10500 Little Patuxent Pkwy
Ste 420
Columbia, MD 21044


Other Locations:
  • Proudly serving Howard County, Maryland and the surrounding Counties (Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Prince George's County, and Montgomery County).

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