How to Live a Full Life throughout Retirement – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning

If you don’t have a personal plan for yourself, you may wish you had given it some thought if you come to an age and stage where other people want to make decisions on your behalf.

There are many choices to be made before, during and after retirement, but without a clear picture of what you want, it’s easy to get sidetracked. This message from The Press-Enterprise is very clear in the article “Aging seniors: Make decisions before someone makes them for you.”

Here are some of the choices you’ll face:

Where to live. Waiting to move to a location you want to live in early on could make it difficult or impossible for you to move there. Do you want to stay in an area where you have friends and belong to social and civic circles?

Do you want to relocate to live closer to family members? What will you do if you move and then learn that your family’s life is busy and you don’t see them very often? Be prepared for that scenario.

What do you like to do? If you visited Arizona or Texas and loved those places, do you want to move there for recreational activities or climate? If you have more time for hobbies and interests, you may be able to fulfill those dreams.

Moving also needs to take into account taxes, sales taxes, inheritance taxes and property taxes.

What kind of living space do you want? If you prefer to live in your own home, that raises questions. Will the house be safe as you age? Does the home have stairs? Are the hallways wide enough for a wheelchair? Do you have enough assets to support the house’s upkeep, make repairs and any major fixes? Will you take care of the house, or have to hire someone to maintain it? Finally, if you live with a spouse or a partner and that person dies, will you be able to manage the house on your own?

If a personal plan isn’t made now, you might regret it when other people are making choices for you.

Do you have a transportation plan? At some point, you will likely have to give up the keys to the car. How will you get around? If you live in a place with adequate buses, subways or taxis, you’ll be able to remain independent.

Taking care of yourself. The idea of not being able to take care of ourselves is not a happy one. At some point in life, we have to accept the fact that we’ll need care. As we age, it takes effort to enjoy socialization and meals and planned activities become very important. Does that include adult day care, a Continuing Care Retirement Community or assisted living?

Don’t be afraid to look into the future. By thinking about what you want and planning in advance, you are more likely to enjoy your retirement life.

Reference: The Press Enterprise (Aug. 31, 2019) “Aging seniors: Make decisions before someone makes them for you.”

Sims & Campbell, LLC – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning Attorneys

What You Need to Know About Continuing Care Retirement Communities – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning

With all the different types of residential options for seniors today, it is easy to get confused by the terminology. If you are trying to decide which choice is right for you or your loved one, you need to evaluate several kinds of arrangements. Here is what you need to know about continuing care retirement communities.

A continuing care retirement community offers a continuum of care, from independent living for people who need no assistance, to assisted living that offers some services, to nursing home care that provides skilled nursing care. A person or couple usually move into the level they need with the option to move to either more independence or more services as their needs change.

The benefit of a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is you do not have to move to a different facility when you need more medical attention or if your health improves. You would have to move to a different part of the community that is usually in a separate building. However, all levels of care are at one campus or physical location.

The drawbacks of CCRC include:

  • These facilities tend to be more expensive than stand-alone centers. There is usually a sizeable entrance fee, ranging from $10,000 to $500,000.
  • The monthly expenses of living in a CCRC make these facilities out of range for low-income and most middle-income seniors. On top of the rent, there is a monthly maintenance fee that can range from $200 to more than $2,000.
  • There might not be a vacancy in the section to which you want to move, so you might have to go on a waiting list or move out of the CCRC to get the level of care you need. If you move out, you can lose the entrance fee you paid.
  • Usually, you do not own the place where you live, even though you might pay more than the market value of the building.

On the other hand, CCRCs have advantages, like:

  • A broader range of activities and services than stand-alone facilities.
  • Getting to stay close to the friends you have at the CCRC when your needs change.
  • More options for independent living, like apartments, houses, duplexes and townhomes.
  • The CCRC arrangement creates a social network and helps residents get through grief when a spouse passes. Residents of CCRCs tend to have less social isolation and higher activity levels as widows or widowers than people who live in single-family homes that are not part of a CCRC.
  • Because CCRCs have so many ongoing activities and the facilities include a range of opportunities for physical exercise, like swimming, yoga, tennis, golf, walking and dance, seniors in these communities tend to stay healthy and socially engaged.
  • Many CCRCs have barbers, hairdressers, grocery stores, coffee shops and retail shops onsite for the convenience of residents.
  • You can tailor your services to your desires. One resident might only want lawn care and snow removal. Another person might want housekeeping, meal preparation and transportation.

Make sure that you get detailed written information about all the costs for each service the CCRC offers and for all levels of care. Get the facility to tell you in writing what happens to your entrance fee, if you move from the facility. Compare at least three CCRC developments if you decide that a CCRC is the option you prefer and can afford.

Reference: A Place for Mom. “Continuing Care Retirement Communities.” (accessed August 21, 2019)

Sims & Campbell, LLC – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning Attorneys

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jane Frankel Sims


Contact: Frank Campbell


Sims & Campbell Estates and Trusts

Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell
Merge to Form Sims & Campbell

Firm will offer comprehensive Trusts & Estates services through offices in Towson and Annapolis

TOWSON, Md. (April 26,2019)  Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell have jointly announced the merger of their firms to create a boutique Trusts & Estates law firm providing comprehensive services in the fields of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Administration and Charitable Giving. The combined firm will be named Sims & Campbell and have offices in Towson, Md. and Annapolis, Md.  Jane Frankel Sims and Frank Campbell will lead and hold equal ownership stakes in the firm.

Sims & Campbell will have 9 attorneys and 15 legal professionals that handle every facet of estate and wealth transfer planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, estate and gift tax advice, and charitable giving strategies.  The firm will focus solely on Trusts & Estates but will serve a wide range of clients, from young families with modest resources to ultra-high net worth individuals.  This allows clients to remain with the firm as their level of wealth and the complexity of related estate and tax implications change over time. 

“By joining forces, we have expanded our footprint to conveniently serve clients in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia” said Jane Frankel Sims.  We are seeing some of the greatest wealth transfer in our country’s history, and we want to continue to be on the leading edge of helping our clients maintain and enhance their family’s wealth.  In addition, we aim to serve our clients for years to come, and the new firm structure will allow Sims & Campbell to thrive even after Frank and I have retired.”    

“Jane and I have always admired each other’s firms and recognized the need to provide even greater depth and breadth of focused expertise to help families amass and protect their wealth from generation to generation,” said Frank Campbell.  “Now we have even greater capabilities to make a real difference for our clients.” 

The Sims & Campbell Towson office is located at 500 York Road, on the corner of York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of Towson.  The Annapolis office is currently located at 716 Melvin Avenue, and is moving to 181 Truman Parkway in August, 2019.  For more information, visit