Many of us reach a turning point in life after which we wonder about not only our own future, but the future of our family as a whole. Our legacy is already established. The kids and grand kids will be there to carry on when we are gone. Have we left behind all that we could to make their lives easier? Is there something else we can do? Who can we turn to for help? The answer is creating a comprehensive estate plan with an estate planning attorney.
These are the questions that you will likely ask as you grow older, and the answers to those questions can be tricky if you are not fluent in the relevant legal situations and tax laws applied to inheritors or beneficiaries of an estate, small> or large. If you want your children and grandchildren to feel comfortable in the absence of their most important mentors and role models then a Fairfax estate planning lawyer can help organize your affairs in the most economical way possible.
Fairfax Estate Planning Lawyer Helping Clients In Fairfax County
A number of recent legislative actions have transformed certain aspects of estate planning in Fairfax County, making it more important than ever to keep your documents current. A Fairfax estate planning lawyer can help you make many decisions, including:
- Family Limited Partnerships.
This type of arrangement occurs when two or more family members decide to put their money in a jointly-managed fund in order to run a business.
Think of it like public investing in a business: each family member owns a specific share of the business, the size of which is determined by the proportion of the overall cash investment each member has made. If one family member puts $3 into the fund, and a second family member invests $7, then the first might own 30 percent of the business while the second might own 70 percent.It depends on the arrangement.
- Guardianships － Conservatorships.
A guardian is a court-appointed individual who is expected to make healthcare-related decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to do so because of a physical or mental incapacity.
A conservator is a court-appointed individual who is expected to make financial decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to do so because of a physical or mental incapacity.
A guardian or conservator may be appointed in conjunction with one another. Sometimes only one or the other will be appointed depending on the services required. If power of attorney is already established prior to the decline of a person’s physical or mental health, then power of attorney stands, and there is no need for the courts to establish either a guardian or conservator. This is yet another reason why estate planning is so important.
- Probate & Estate Administration.
This is the process by which a person’s assets and liabilities (their estate) are established in order to divide the wealth to beneficiaries. Probate court is responsible for conducting this process in order to close the deceased’s estate. If the deceased already drafted a specific plan for his or her estate with the help of estate planning attorneys, then it may be possible to avoid probate court.
Many people choose to draft a specific estate plan prior to death in order to minimize taxation. A trust is one method of doing this. This kind of fiduciary arrangement requires a “trustee” to keep an estate’s assets for beneficiaries, and can help family members avoid the struggles of probate court or creditors later. Trust funds pass to beneficiaries when and how you want them to, providing you with a greater amount of control in comparison to other arrangements.
- Special Needs Trusts.
This is a specific kind of trust set up for a person who requires additional help, and it provides a source of income in addition to government aid the special needs individual may already receive. In 2017, HB 1492 provided guardians of a special needs individual with the option to allocate child support funds directly to a special needs trust already established in order to further strengthen this support system.
- Special Needs Trusts.
In the absence of a last will and testament, probate court will determine how your estate’s assets are divided among potential beneficiaries, a process which often results in fighting among family members. A will outlines a person’s assets, designates the executor of the will, lists beneficiaries, and provides detailed instructions on how to divide assets after death. This document is a part of the estate planning process. An estate plan is effective even while you are still alive, while a will is only put into effect upon your death.
Contact Our Fairfax Estate Planning Attorney Now!
The importance of estate planning cannot be understated, nor can the importance of retaining legal counsel in order to plan for the future. Our Fairfax, VA Law Firm is dedicated to your family’s future and its continued wellbeing long after you are gone. We have years of exceptional service and experience in poring through obscure legal code to achieve the best possible outcomes and win the trust of our clients. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation in order to discuss the future of your estate.