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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

8 Reasons Young People Should Write a Last Will and Testament


 

8 Reasons Young People Should Write a Last Will and Testament

Imagine if writing a last will and testament were a pre-requisite to graduating from high school.  The graduate walks across the stage, hands the completed will to the principal, and gets the diploma in return.   It might sound strange because most 18 year olds have little in terms of assets but it’s a good idea for all adults to draft a last will and testament.

Graduation from college is another good milestone to use as a reminder to create an estate plan.  If you haven’t created a will by the time you marry – or are living with a partner in a committed relationship – then it’s fair to say you are overdue.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Leaving Assets to a 'Troubled' Heir


Estate Planning: Leaving Assets to a ‘Troubled’ Heir

If you have a child who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or who is financially irresponsible, you already know the heartbreak associated with trying to help that child make healthy decisions.  Perhaps your other adult children are living independent lives, but this child still turns to you to bail him out – either figuratively or literally – of trouble.

If these are your circumstances, you are probably already worrying about how to continue to help your child once you are gone.  You predict that your child will misuse any lump sum of money left to him or her via your will.  You don’t want to completely cut this child out of your estate plan, but at the same time, you don’t want to enable destructive behavior or throw good money after bad.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

It’s Always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia: Avoiding Family Drama In The Estate Planning Process

In the classic Brady Bunch episode “Her Sister’s Shadow,” Jan’s frustration at constantly being compared to her older sister Marcia bursts forth. Perhaps it is because we can all relate that Jan’s exasperated “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” became a cultural catchphrase despite only being uttered just that one time.

These same feelings of inferiority and a sense of not being treated fairly frequently burst forth during the estate planning process.


Read more . . .


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Estate Planning Tips for Cryptocurrency Owners

As most cryptocurrency owners know, if you lose the private key that grants you access to your digital wallet, any coins stored in it become inaccessible. Experts estimate somewhere between 17 and 23 percent of all bitcoins have been lost and will never be recovered because people have lost their private key. Perhaps the most famous example of this is James Howells, an IT worker in London who lost 7,500 bitcoins, or around $56 million, when his laptop was thrown away in 2013.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Preventing a Will Contest & Preserving Peace in the Family


Preventing a Will Contest & Preserving Peace in the Family

The purpose of writing a Last Will and Testament is to make sure that you – and not an anonymous probate court judge – have control over the distribution of your property after your death.  If one or more family members disputes the instructions in your will, however, then it is possible  that a probate court judge may decide how your assets will be distributed.

Protect yourself, your family members and your last wishes by taking steps to prevent a will contest after your death.  Will contests (this is the legal term used to describe a family member’s challenge to the contents of a will) can be based on one or more of these claims:

  • The will was not properly executed
  • The willmaker was under improper or undue influence from a beneficiary
  • The willmaker or another person committed fraud
  • The willmaker lacked the mental capacity to make the will

There are a number of steps that you can take to help prevent will contests based on any of those claims.  It is important to remember, though, that different states have different laws regarding wills and probate.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Living Will or Healthcare POA? Or Do I Need Both?


A Living Will or Health Care Power of Attorney? Or Do I Need Both?

Many people are confused by these two important estate planning documents. It’s important to understand the functions of each and ensure you are fully protected by incorporating both of these documents into your overall estate plan.

A “living will,” often called an advance health care directive, is a legal document setting forth your wishes for end-of-life medical care, in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes yourself. The safest way to ensure that your own wishes will determine your future medical care is to execute an advance directive stating what your wishes are. In some states, the advance directive is only operative if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and life-sustaining treatment merely artificially prolongs the process of dying, or if you are in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Planning Your Final Sendoff


Planning for Your Final Sendoff

Although most people don’t like to think about it, death is inevitable. It’s imperative that you have an estate plan in place that outlines your end of life wishes and how you would like your assets distributed upon your passing. As part of your planning, it’s important that you consider and make arrangements for your funeral. By planning this event before your passing, you can spare your family difficult decisions and ensure that your send off is exactly as you’d like it.

Here are a few things to consider:

Location
Funerals are not limited to churches or temples.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Can I Get A Witness?

Whenever that Brothers Osborne song “It Ain’t My Fault” comes on the radio, and it gets to the part where they sing, “I got my hands up. I need an alibi. Find me a witness who can testify.” it always gets us thinking about


Read more . . .


Friday, May 11, 2018

Author’s Estate Plan Preserves Her Privacy

The beloved author Harper Lee was known for two things: 1. The coming-of-age classic To Kill a Mockingbird and 2. Her desire to keep her personal affairs out of the public eye. When she died in 2016, many thought her will might reveal whether readers could expect additional books written by her to be published, and tell us a little more about her mysterious private life. Earlier this year, her will was finally made public, but it leaves us with more questions than answers.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pooled Income Trusts & Public Assistance Benefits


Pooled Income Trusts and Public Assistance Benefits

A Pooled Income Trust is a special kind of trust that is established by a non-profit organization. This trust allows individuals of any age (typically over 65) to become financially eligible for public assistance benefits (such as Medicaid home care and Supplemental Security Income), while preserving their monthly income in trust for living expenses and supplemental needs. All income received by the beneficiary must be deposited into the Pooled Income Trust.

In order to be eligible to deposit your income into a Pooled Income Trust, you must be disabled as defined by law. For purposes of the Trust, "disabled" typically includes age-related infirmities.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When Is A Person Unfit To Make A Will?


When is a person unfit to make a will?

Testamentary capacity refers to a person’s ability to understand and execute a will. As a general rule, most people who are over the age of eighteen are thought to be competent to make and sign the will. They must be able to understand that they are signing the will, they must understand the nature of the property being affected by the will, and they must remember and understand who is affected by the will. These are simple burdens to meet. However, there are a number of reasons a person might challenge a will based on testamentary capacity.
Read more . . .


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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