Estate Planning

 

Estate Planning

When it comes right down to it, estate planning is an act of care and compassion. It’s what you do to make life easier for the people you love when you’re not around to just take care of it.  Folks tend to think you have to have an “estate” in order to get an estate plan, but that’s a misconception. If you have people you love, then you need an estate plan to direct your affairs in the event of your death or incapacity. The ramifications of neglecting your affairs are only bad, and you’ll feel better knowing that you’ve saved your family a large measure of pain and aggravation by engaging Speedwell Law to prepare an estate plan for you. Call us at (703) 553-2577 or email admin@speedwelllaw.com.

Advantages of Estate Planning

  • Compassion through planning.  To re-iterate, estate planning is an act of care and compassion towards the ones you love. That is because you can prevent the messy situations that arise when you don’t provide any legal guidance. You know what happens when family and money collide – strife occurs, courts get involved, and lawyer fees rack up. It’s a situation where the old axiom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really comes true.
  • Avoid probate.  Probate is the system whereby the state court oversees distribution of your assets. Probate is time consuming, tedious, and potentially expensive. In Virginia, you pay the state to oversee distribution of your assets in the amount of a 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) probate tax. And if you die intestate, you may pay as much as 5% of your assets to a court-appointed fiduciary. Furthermore, probate is a part of the public record, so your last testament is no longer private. Probate can be avoided with a living trust, saving you money, keeping your affairs private, and saving your loved ones the scary and time consuming trip to the court house.
  • Tax planning.  The Federal Estate Tax Credit is $5.43 million per individual as of 2015, and is indexed for inflation. If your assets total more than that, tax planning is in order, and there are many strategies advanced strategies we can implement to reduce or eliminate your estate tax liability.
  • Planning for incapacity.  With the Estate Tax threshold so high, estate planning’s emphasis for the ordinary family has shifted somewhat. Now, it’s very much about planning for incapacity, where you appoint agents to manage your affairs should an accident happen that diminishes or extinguishes your capacity to make legal decisions. I will help you to decide who to appoint and what powers to give your agent so they can step in to smoothly and properly manage your financial and medical affairs in the event of your incapacity.

We will take your circumstances into full consideration in order to best advise you on the route ahead, often involving drafting one or more of the following types of documents:

  • Advanced Medical Directives
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Basic Estate Planning
  • Wills
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts, aka Supplemental Needs Trusts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • LLCs for Real Estate
  • Gifting Strategies