I was always amazed how my grandfather could build anything. There was no home project that was too big or too complicated for him. Unfortunately, that gene skipped my generation, and when I get involved in do-it-yourself projects around the house, I generally make more work and more expense to fix my work by a professional. In a recent Virginia case, Irving v. Divito, the decedent’s attempts to modify his estate plan had the same result as my attempts to fix plumbing.
It is always important to make sure the beneficiary designation for Life Insurance, Annuities and Retirement Accounts are current, especially after a significant event, such as, disability, divorce or birth. It is even more important to make sure the beneficiary designations are current for Federally sponsored assets, such as Federal Employees Group Life Insurance.
As you might expect, I receive a ton of questions every day about how the new tax law is going to affect individual, business, trust and estate planning. And, as you might expect, my answer is always quite lawyerly - it depends.
Clients who are appointed to handle a loved one’s estate often feel overwhelmed upon the death of their loved one. The probate process can seem complicated and daunting, especially when grieving. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about probate, and some guidance in response to those questions.
When people hear the word “guardian,” they often think of an adult authorized to make decisions on behalf of a child. It is important to know, however, that guardianships are not limited to children. In fact, Virginia courts appoint guardians and conservators for incapacitated adults in a variety of circumstances. This first in a series of blog posts discussing adult guardianships and conservatorships in Virginia will provide a brief introduction to the process of becoming a guardian or conservator of an incapacitated adult.
A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a form of discretionary, spendthrift trust designed to preserve government benefits for a disabled or aged beneficiary. Distributions from the trust are intended to supplement public benefits, not supplant them.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Why to Consider Creating a Supplemental Needs Trust to Hold a Personal Injury Award
It may be hard for a prevailing plaintiff to imagine that winning a personal injury judgment or settlement could make it more difficult to afford housing and medical care, but that is often that case for people who receive Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Estate planning is more than just tax planning. It is the “peace of mind” planning that protects you, your family and your assets during your life and after.
This guide was prepared for those who wish to learn some of the basic concepts and terminology used by practitioners of estate planning. Without making you an expert, this basic knowledge will enable you to participate in discussions with your advisors as an informed consumer.
If you're young, healthy and busy building up your assets, an estate plan to distribute those assets might be the furthest thing from your mind. If you're older, you might postpone estate planning simply because death is an unpleasant subject.