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Monday, August 23, 2021

Attorney Fallon Whidden joins firm!


Congratulations to attorney Fallon Whidden for joining the law firm of J.S. Burton, P.L.C.
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Monday, August 23, 2021

What Is A Qualified Personal Residence Trust?


In this first of a six-week "What Is?" series, I begin with what is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust? With skyrocketing home values of late, many of my client's largest asset is their home. The foreseeable estate tax landscape is uncertain, increasing the possibility that more Americans will have to deal with estate taxes at death. If you believe your current home will continue to appreciate over the next decade and you plan on owning it for at least ten to fifteen years, then you want to consider moving your home to a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). In sum, moving your home into a QPRT will "lock" your home's current value. At the end of the trust term (usually between ten to twenty years), your home transfers to your heirs at the value the home was fifteen years ago, not at its future appreciated value.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Asset Protection For Doctors


Medical malpractice insurance premiums are increasing with each passing year. The AMA Journal reported that nationally 1 in 2 doctors will be sued by age 55. Many internal actuaries reported by some medical malpractice insurance companies see their foreseeable insolvency based upon the rate of lawsuit claims made by doctors each year. True, many states like Virginia have set a lawsuit cap on the total amount for which a doctor would be liable ($2.5 million).
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Friday, July 16, 2021

What Happens to My LLC Interests When I Pass?


Many people create a Limited Liability Company, LLC, for a variety of business purposes. Perhaps it is to manage and invest in real estate. Others may be forming an LLC to run a business. Although easy to form on most state corporation websites, many people often fail to create the necessary operating agreements determining how the business is managed among its members and what happens when a member passes. Absent an agreement among its members, Virginia, like many states, only grants the estate of a deceased member a passive income right - no control, no say so in management.
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Friday, June 4, 2021

What Happens To Your Facebook Account Should You Pass Away?

Do you know what would happen to your Facebook account if you passed away? Who would control your posts, personal photos and information? Developing an estate plan for your social media sites is just as important as the other assets you own. Typically, each social media site has developed an internal way to set up who can access your account after you pass. For example, Facebook has a “Legacy” setting that can be found using your app within your privacy settings. There, you can provide an email address of a loved one who can have the ability to access your account after your death.
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Monday, April 19, 2021

Joint Accounts, Divorce & Death of an Owner.

What happens to joint accounts owned by a couple who later get divorced? What if the couple fails to split the accounts into their own names after divorce and one of them dies; what is the ownership situation? Typically, joint bank accounts and investment accounts vest to the remaining owner of the account after the other owner dies. However, if the divorced couple co-owned joint accounts prior to their divorce and one of them later passes away, most jurisdictions will treat the ownership of the accounts as one-half owned by the surviving ex-spouse and the other half owned by the estate of the decedent ex-spouse. Long story short, upon divorce, ensure you each split any jointly held accounts into your own names as agreed and dictated by the final decree of divorce.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Should You Consider An IRA Trust?


If you have significant assets in an IRA or other tax-qualified retirement plan, consider setting up a special type of revocable living trust designed to be the beneficiary of your IRA after you pass called an IRA Trust. The benefits of an IRA Trust are: Asset Protection: If you are married and your surviving spouse inherits your IRA, it becomes part of his or her estate and could potentially be given to a new spouse should the surviving spouse remarry. Alternatively, an IRA Trust can provide the surviving spouse the financial benefits of the IRA, like required minimum distributions, but he or she cannot change beneficiaries in the future. The trust will also protect the IRA from a surviving spouse’s lawsuits and creditor claims during his or her lifetime. Legacy Planning: An IRA Trust can hold an IRA for the benefit of your children or grandchildren up to a certain age or stage of life.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What Does Formula 1 Auto Racing Have To Do With Estate Planning?

The ultra-exclusive and seemingly superfluous sport of Formula 1 auto racing designed rearview mirrors, seat belts, anti-lock brakes and roll cages, all widely used in most cars today. Likewise, revocable, multigenerational and irrevocable asset protection trusts were first designed for ultra-wealthy families like the Rockefellers. Just as they wanted to protect their assets from probate costs, privacy invasion, creditor claims, lawsuits and estate taxes, I implement these powerful legal documents for my clients regularly today.
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Monday, February 15, 2021

Britney Spears Goes Back to Court.


Oops-she does it again. Famed singer and performer Brittany Spears returns to court to contest her court-appointed conservator, her father, who’s been in control of her finances since 2008. Ms. Spears is now seeking to have her father removed from serving in that role. The court process to obtain either a conservatorship (control over the person’s assets and finances) or guardianship (control of the person) can be a stressful process if not handled with respect and skill.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Top 3 Estate Planning Strategies For 2021.


As we close on a challenging and difficult 2020 for so many, clients ask me which are the most important estate planning recommendations for the coming year. Here are my top 3: 1) Update Your Existing Estate Plan. A lot has changed in 2020. Covid has affected how medical directives are drafted and used. Enhanced financial powers have been added to powers of attorney.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

What Can A Special Needs Trust Pay For?


A Special Needs Trust is a separate legal entity which holds assets for individuals with special needs. Ideally, by maintaining assets within a Special Needs Trust, the monies administered inside will not negatively impact the special needs beneficiary's eligibility for public benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Special needs planning attorneys are often asked if a Special Needs Trust can be used to pay for more high cost "lifestyle" purchases, such as a custom van for personal transportation, a wheelchair or computers for learning and communication needs. A Special Needs trust is ideal for these types of expenses because there is no spending limit as to what a Trustee may purchase on behalf of a special needs beneficiary. Even still, there are rules for how funds administered within a Special Needs Trust can be used for.
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477 Viking Drive, Suite 410, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
| Phone: 757.301.9500
5425 Discovery Park Blvd., Suite 101, Williamsburg, VA 23188
| Phone: 757.301.9500
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477 Viking Drive, Suite 410 , Virginia Beach, VA 23452 | Phone: 757.301.9500
5425 Discovery Park Blvd., Suite 101, Williamsburg, VA 23188 | Phone: 757.301.9500
750 Tysons Blvd., Suite 1500, McLean, VA 22102 (By Appointment Only) | Phone: 757.301.9500