A Boutique Trusts & Estates Law Firm

Tax Exacta: The Preakness Stakes and Estate Taxes

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The 137th Preakness Stakes will be run in Baltimore on May 19th. Thousands of spectators will descend upon Pimlico Race Course to watch 12 thoroughbred horses race the track. But few will wonder, where do the race horses reside when they are not racing?

In Maryland, horse farms occupy over 200,000 acres of farmland, according to Marylandthoroughbred.com. In the 2012 legislative session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 294 and House Bill 444, the Family Farm Preservation Act, which will help ensure that family owned farms of all types do not need to be sold to pay estate taxes.

Because the state level estate tax is $1,000,000, upon the death of the owner of a farm there is the possibility that the liquid assets (bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, etc.) of a farmer’s estate will not be enough to cover the estate tax bill. If the liquid assets are insufficient, the family will often have to sell the illiquid assets, such as the farm, to pay the tax collector.

The Family Farm Preservation Act aims to amend the state estate tax law to exclude up to $5,000,000 of real or personal property used primarily for farming purposes. In addition, any agricultural property valued in excess of $5,000,000 will be taxed at a reduced rate of 5%.

A note of caution exists. If the agricultural property is not used for farming purposes for at least 10 years after the date of death, the state will recapture the estate tax owed. This means that any property valued over $1,000,000 that was not taxed will be taxed at the current estate tax rate of 16%.

The Family Farm Preservation Act has not yet been signed by Governor Martin O’Malley, but the Governor will be conducting a bill signing on May 22, 2012.

If you or your family has further questions about the Family Farm Preservation Act or how you can have a tax-efficient transfer of wealth upon your death, please contact Sims & Campbell at (410) 828-7775.


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 www.simscampbell.law.