This year, new tax legislation—perhaps the most significant in over 30 years—went into effect. The new legislation markedly alters the tax laws for both individuals and businesses, including some of the estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax provisions. The new law did not eliminate the estate, gift, or generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes, nor did it […]
In Thorsen v. Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Virginia Supreme Court established that attorneys who draft wills are liable to the intended beneficiaries of their services. The opinion is available here. This case is notable for two reasons: (i) it marks a change in what some, or perhaps many, attorneys believed […]
What happens when a resident of another state dies owning Virginia real estate? When a person dies owning real estate in more than one state, ancillary probate may be necessary to transfer some of the real estate. Let’s say Henry passes away. At the time of his death, Henry was a resident of a state […]
Charitable trusts are often appealing to donors who wish to give significant sums to charity. These kinds of trusts afford tax benefits for donors and allow donors to retain certain benefits for themselves or their family members. For small donations, however, charitable trusts are not typically feasible: they involve setup and administration costs in the […]
Unitrusts and the Big Problem They Address Some trusts have different income beneficiaries and remainder beneficiaries. Such a trust might provide, for example, that the surviving spouse receives all of the income while he/she is alive, and the children receive what’s left upon the surviving spouse’s death. The interests of the income beneficiaries (the spouse in […]
Our estate planning process is a collaboration between us and our clients. The process itself is something we work with each client to define, so it varies from client to client. The time it takes to get from contacting us to a complete estate plan also varies from client-to client. Some clients wish to have their estate […]
You might think that any lawyer with law degree (a J.D.), a license to practice law, and no disciplinary complaints can make you a good estate plan or advise you well regarding an estate or trust. Those things are important, but they might not be enough.
Choosing “Something Else” Previously, we distinguished English per stirpes from the other distribution methods. In the scenario in Part 1, in which all of Henry and Wendy’s children die before them, the allocation methods other than English per stirpes all produced the same result. In this post,
Many parents wish for their property to pass to their children when they die. If the children die before the parents, the parents often want the property to go to their grandchildren instead. This sounds simple enough, but there are a few different ways property can be allocated among surviving children and grandchildren.
There are certain estate planning documents that every person should have. These documents make life easier on you and your loved ones if you become unable to make decisions for yourself or pass away.