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Our Virginia trusts and estate planning lawyers are among the Best Virginia trusts and estate planning lawyers in Loudoun, Fairfax, and northern Virginia (one of three, every year from 2014-2020 (see Virginia Living Magazine). Our wills and trusts lawyers draft wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and handle trust and probate administration from our offices in Loudoun County, Fairfax County, and Richmond. We work with individuals, families, and business owners to develop customized estate and tax planning strategies through in-person, in-office meetings, or during the COVID-19 crisis, through virtual video or telephonic meetings. For your convenience, our estate planning lawyers are located in three different regional offices: Vienna, Virginia, Leesburg, Virginia, and Richmond, Virginia.
Call now to speak to someone who will create a customized estate plan for Virginia estates of every size 703-777-7319, or email our estate team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Explore the library of information on tax planning, trusts, and other subjects in our blog or podcast. If you are a business owner, start here with Three Reasons to Have an Estate Plan for Your Business.
Virginia Trusts and Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate Planning Services
Our experienced estate planning attorneys in Vienna, Leesburg, and Richmond, Virginia, guide you through every step of the process. They work with individuals, families, and business owners to plan and prepare for the unexpected.
- Estate Planning. Estate planning involves various matters, such as wills and trusts, asset protection, gifting, tax planning, and more. As experienced Fairfax County and Loudoun County estate planning lawyers, we will help you create an individualized plan that considers your specific needs and future desires.
- Wills & Trusts. Wills and trusts are essential estate planning tools that can help ensure you meet your goals.
- Asset Protection. You've worked hard to attain your assets, and we work diligently to make sure they are preserved for future generations. To learn more about Virginia Asset Protection, click here.
- Joint Trusts. If you have ever lived in a common-law jurisdiction, or even if you have not, as long as you are married and have assets held jointly with your legal spouse Joint Trusts are a great way to avoid capital gains taxes when the first spouse passes away. To learn more about Joint Trusts in Virginia, click here.
- Probate. Probate is the legal term for the process used to distribute a deceased's property and possessions. To learn more about Virginia Probate & Estate Administration, click here.
- Guardianship/ Conservatorship. When an individual, either through birth, illness, an accident, has been incapacitated to the point that they can no longer make appropriate life decisions, a court may appoint them a Guardian or Conservator. Both of these positions grant powers to the Guardian or Conservator to make necessary financial or healthcare-related decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. To learn more about Virginia Guardianship, click here.
- Special Needs Planning. Planning for a child with special needs involves a much greater range of tasks. You need to ensure your child will be cared for when you are unable to provide for them. To learn more about Virginia Special Needs Trusts, click here.
- Tax Planning. Laws governing taxes change yearly, and ensuring you stay up-to-date on these rules can be challenging. To learn more about Virginia Tax Planning, click here.
Why Work With DBL Virginia Estate Planning Lawyers?
- Knowledge and Experience. When you are looking for an estate attorney to help you safeguard your interests, you need an experienced professional who can provide you with reliable guidance and advice. With over 30 years of experience, DBL is well equipped to handle a full range of estate planning, asset protection, and business planning matters.
- Compassionate Representation. Planning for the future and life's uncertainties can be overwhelming. The attorneys at DBL understand these challenges and will work side by side with you at every step. They carefully listen to your concerns and provide honest and straightforward answers to any questions that you may have.
- Individualized Solutions. DBL appreciates that every client is different with their own unique needs, concerns, and objectives. We provide clients with individualized plans and strategies that best protect their assets and property. Our hands-on, customized approach will give you peace of mind.
- Proactive Approach. DBL's estate planning attorneys concentrate on helping individuals and businesses plan for the future. Our proactive approach to the practice law will help you avoid potential problems and prepare for all kinds of possibilities.
- Trusted Reputation. DBL is an AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, A+ by the Better Business Bureau, Virginia SuperLawyers (top 5%), selected as a "Best Law Firm in Virginia" by (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), and is a veteran-owned company with a global reputation for excellence.
Who Needs An Estate Plan?
Everyone needs an estate plan. There is a common misconception that you must have a lot of money to need an estate plan, which is false. It is not the amount of money that dictates the need for an estate plan but a fundamental desire to make sure your assets pass to your loved ones according to your terms. Likewise, you must have a plan for your incapacity. Failing in this, your loved ones will have to go through the burdensome, expensive, and time-consuming process of seeking Guardianship and Conservatorship rights in court. The need to do this can place a tremendous strain on your family.
There are a host of things to consider when making a Virginia estate plan, Trust or Will, including:
- Planning for the disposition of important collections of coins, art, or other valuable heirlooms; and
- Determining how to distribute assets and property to a blended family, and
- Managing real estate in multiple states, where one state may impose an estate tax and another does not, and
- Planning for special needs children in adulthood.
If you only have a Will, you have only taken the first step, and your estate plan is incomplete. An estate plan should address all life stages from healthy active times, sick times, possible times of incapacitation, and ultimately, death. A complete estate plan includes a basic trust plan along with Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and HIPAA waivers. Our process is straightforward. You tell us about your current situation and your desires for the future, and we craft your plan to reflect both. To learn more, read our article Five Common Misconceptions About Wills and Probate.
Establishing a Will in Virginia
A Will (also known as a Last Will and Testament) is a document that does a number of important things when you pass away. All Wills go through the probate process in the county where the decedent was a resident. In many cases, when you don't have a living trust or other trusts, the Will specifies how you want your possessions (things) and property to be distributed when you die. In every case, the Will also designates the personal representative in charge of administering the deceased person's estate. Finally, a Will is used to appoint a guardian for minor children and to direct the disposition of your physical remains.
In Virginia, wills are both witnessed and notarized through a self-proving affidavit. Not every state does this. If you have moved from another state to Virginia, you should consider re-executing your Will.
Upon your death, your Will becomes a public document along with all of the accompanying filings. The original document must be presented in probate. To learn more about the probate process in detail, please visit our Probate page. If you would like to keep the distribution of your property private, you should consider alternative methods, including a Virginia Living Trust.
Revocable Living Trusts
There are two main advantages to using a revocable living trust for estate planning. A living trust is effective and starts working the day it is signed, and second, the Trust avoids probate and probate tax.
A Revocable Trust is based on the law of contracts. A trust provides guidelines for how somebody (the Trustee) will manage assets while an individual is alive and healthy, in the event of incapacity and after death. Typically, you are the Trustee of your Trust while you are alive and have legal capacity. You choose a successor Trustee to take over in the event of your incapacity or death. Virginia trust law is based on the Uniform Trust Code (UTC), enacted in 2006. Most states have enacted the UTC, making it much easier for Living Trust to move from state to state. If your documents were written before 2006, you should consider updating your Trust to comply with the new law.
While you are alive, you and the Living Trust are the same; the Trust uses your social security number, your tax rate does not change, you do not pay a higher property tax, and you have complete control over all of your assets. To learn more about the benefits of a revocable trust, visit our Revocable Trust page.
For more detailed information on complex estate planning issues and strategies, visit one of the pages below.
- Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are for spouses or children who may require more advanced planning when a child or other potential heir has special needs.
- Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) can secure a planned income stream, structure tax savings, pass wealth to your loved ones, and benefit your charities of choice.
- Generation-Skipping Trusts (GSTs) are to manage estate tax as applied to gifts to grandchildren.
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) are used to establish a specific personal revenue stream while creating a vehicle to transfer wealth during your lifetime (using the leverage available under the Internal Revenue Code).
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT) help reduce or eliminate your estate tax using life insurance.
For more information, you can contact our Estate Planning, Wills, and Trusts lawyers directly by calling:
|Leesburg Estate Planning Lawyers|
211 Church St, SE
Leesburg, VA 20175
|Vienna Estate Planning Lawyers|
8300 Boone Blvd #550
Vienna, VA 22182
Richmond Estate Planning Lawyers
8003 Franklin Farms Dr. Suite 220
Richmond, VA 23229