Estate planning is an important part of life, regardless of your age, estate size or family situation. Without a carefully reasoned estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to state law through the probate process. The results may or may not be what you intended, and they may or may not be in the actual best interest of your family. While it is an not an easy topic, it is still vitally important for you and your family to engage in proper estate planning.
Comprehensive Estate Planning Services
Taking care to make final arrangements helps family and friends cope with an extremely difficult time. It also makes sure your assets are dispersed in the way you wish them to be. If you own a company, proper estate planning helps protect the business and ensure its continued operation. A will protects any inheritances you pass on to your heirs and helps ensure the financial security of your family.
Many people think they need to be wealthy to engage in estate planning. This is not the case. Everyone has an estate, including younger individuals who have been gifted with family treasures or who have a trust account in their name. If you own something of value to yourself or your family and you wish to bequeath it to someone else upon your death, you need to have a plan outlining those wishes. If you die without a plan everything is left to the courts to handle.
My practice is devoted to serving the legal needs of individuals and families. I explain the different estate planning tools and the benefits of each. I work diligently to ensure the plan I create fully satisfies your needs and objectives. An experienced Virginia estate planning attorney, I assist clients with:
Wills and trusts: I draft simple and complex wills and assist clients in creating individualized living trusts and testamentary trusts, including A trusts (marital trust, QTIP or marital deduction trust); B trusts (bypass trust, credit shelter or family trust); and AB trusts (ideal for remarried couples who have separate beneficiaries); portability of tax exemption trusts; revocable and irrevocable trusts (such as a life insurance trusts) special needs trusts and other types of trusts.
Powers of attorney: Proactively naming a power of attorney can help avoid significant challenges. I can assist in establishing a durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. If at some point you lack the mental capacity to make major decisions or address your own health care decisions — such as when suffering from Alzheimer’s or other mental illness — your power of attorney will have the capability to handle those concerns for you.
Advanced medical directives (living wills): A living will enables you to voice your wishes regarding end-of-life decisions. This can include indicating medical treatment that you do or do not want to receive. Without an authorized health care power of attorney or a valid living will, doctors will not know or be able to carry out your wishes, nor will they be able to follow the verbal direction of family members — even if family members know how you would have wanted the situation handled.
Other estate planning concerns: I understand that estate planning is about more than planning for asset transfers and potential incapacity. My dedication extends beyond typical estate planning practices. I work closely with families to answer their questions about life insurance and long-term care planning and how these issues can be integrated into their estate plan.
Taking Care to Craft the Best Estate Plan for Your Needs
It is important to realize that your estate planning documents are critical, and if there is a missing signature or if something is not worded properly, it may change the meaning and intent of your plan. Virginia has strict laws about what is and is not acceptable in these documents. This is why you need to discuss your estate planning issues with an experienced estate planning lawyer.
I have the legal experience and knowledge to help you craft an estate plan that truly reflects your wishes for asset disposal and dispersal. I take the time to listen to your needs, assess the overall situation and adjust the document to suit your individual circumstances. I do not do cookie cutter wills.
My law firm focuses on your family. Contact me at my Vienna, Virginia, law office to discuss your case. I am always happy to speak with you.