Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.

- Denis Waitley


Family Law and Estate Planning Blog

The use of 529 college savings accounts in estate planning

The greatest tax advantage of Section 529 college savings accounts is that it is permitted for them to increase earnings without being subject to federal tax, and generally not to state income tax either. When the account beneficiary reaches college age, tax-free withdrawals can be made to finance the beneficiary’s qualified college expenses. Although 529 […]

How divorce can affect your estate plan with respect to your will and beneficiary designations

Whenever you experience significant life-changing events, it is recommended that you revisit your estate planning documents to make certain that they are in compliance with your wishes. In Virginia, a final divorce decree affects specific aspects of estate planning, but a separation has no such impact. Unless expressly stipulated otherwise, upon the entry of a […]

Preventing disputes among your grown children over their inheritance

Siblings are often contentious regarding the inheritance of their parents’ assets. However, such acrimony can be avoided by implementing certain steps that will prevent any type of forced sharing among your children. In order to prevent financial disputes among your adult children, refrain from using a pot trust, which is the term used by many […]

How your child with a disability can benefit from a special needs trust

If you have a child or grandchild with special needs, you may wish to create a special needs trust to ensure that the child receives the necessary care and financial assistance through adulthood. The trust sets aside funds for the benefit of the child, and is managed by the trustees, who are usually family members […]

Rethink giving your children their inheritance now

While you may wish to give your children their inheritance before you die, you may be unaware of the risks associated with such a move. Make certain that you are knowledgeable of the consequences of gifting property to your children, including a house, land or stock. If you have more than one home, and would […]

Failure to update your beneficiary designations could have unintended consequences

While creating their estate plan, many people fail to update their beneficiary designations on financial products, including bank accounts, 401(k)s, and life insurance policies. Brian Madgett, a vice president at New York Life who heads the advanced planning group, states that for the majority of people, the beneficiary designation comprises their estate plan. Several Americans […]

The importance of making arrangements for your digital assets

Most people do not consider making plans for their digital assets so that their loved ones and estate executor can access them after they die. But in this digital age of social media and online accounts, it is becoming increasingly essential to store your account passwords in order for family members and executors to locate […]

Division of property for divorcing couples

If you are going through a divorce, and are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding the distribution of property, the court may make that determination for you. In order to avoid such a scenario, it is recommended that you establish a property division agreement that is acceptable to both of you. However, […]

Estate planning for those with no spouse or children

Married couples and parents usually know who the beneficiaries of their estates will be, and who will be their health care proxy, or have the power to make health-care decisions on their behalf in the event they become incapacitated. If you are unmarried and have no children, you may wish to leave your assets to […]

When should you use a spendthrift trust?

A spendthrift trust can be useful if you have qualms that an heir will act irresponsibly with an inheritance or sell the right to payments if it is put into a trust fund. Individuals who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction may well be at risk for wasting an inheritance in order to support their […]