Virginia trust and estate laws will likely impact you at some point in your life. Preparing your estate planning documents now can save you time later, smooth over the probate process, and allow you to plan for unexpected occurrences like becoming incapacitated. You are never too young to start creating an estate plan.
Need help with your estate planning documents? The attorneys at the Melone Hatley, P.C. law firm have years of experience in the practice areas of trusts and estate planning and can help with the complex and surprising situations that may arise with your estate.
A trust is one way to designate ownership over property and arrange for your beneficiaries to receive the property you want to give them.
In making a trust, a trustor transfers property ownership to another person or organization called the trustee, who will manage the property for its beneficiary, the intended recipient. The trustee named in the document is bound by the terms outlined in the trust.
At Melone Hatley, P.C., we can assist you throughout the trust process, from creation to administration. With a broad array of trusts available, we are committed to helping you choose one that serves your needs now and for the future.
The types of trusts differ based on when a beneficiary receives the property from the trust, whether the trust can be altered or eradicated, and what guidelines are in place for the trustee.
A person does not need to be extremely wealthy to create a trust fund. Trusts are for anybody with assets who wants to control what happens to them, even after death. They can also provide tax benefits and help avoid assets going through the normal probate process. A normal will does not avoid probate.
Probate is the process by which a decedent’s assets are distributed to heirs per the decedent’s will. There are many disadvantages to probate, including the taxes and fees paid to the court and state, the significant amount of time probate can take, and the fact that the probate process is public, which means that asset transfers are overseen by third parties. Having a trust avoids all three of these disadvantages.
Trusts are also a means of wealth management and asset management. Trusts can be used to manage and preserve wealth while managing assets in a way that is difficult for a single individual to do. A trust can be used to hold assets for the benefit of someone without giving them over directly, which can be beneficial in various circumstances.
Some types of trusts can protect assets from creditor claims or division of assets in a divorce, while other types allow for the provision of funds for disabled children while preserving the benefits they receive from the government. A life insurance trust can hold on to the proceeds of a life insurance payout on behalf of minors or disabled persons and allow the trustee to provide those funds as deemed appropriate.
Finally, trusts can help to avoid court. Without a trust, managing the assets of a third party often requires establishing a conservatorship. This is a court process by which a person is appointed by the court to manage the assets of another person on his or her behalf. Conservatorships can take time and money, especially when the process is contested. However, with a trust, the management structure is established ahead of time and can help govern how assets will be used on behalf of a third party without court intervention.
Special needs trusts are used to hold assets for a person with a disability. They can help shield the beneficiary against losing their public benefits such as Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Medicare. Such a trust can be used to help with medical bills and medical costs like healthcare premiums and can also help maintain a good standard of living for the beneficiary.
Trusts can be litigated, and if there is a dispute with your trust, whether from unhappy family members or third parties, you may need the assistance of a trusts and estates attorney at the law offices of Melone Hatley. Our legal team can also help with issues related to tax law, such as estate taxes, inheritance tax, and gift tax.
Our estate planning attorneys understand Virginia state laws regarding trusts and estates, and they are well-equipped to administer and create wills and trusts to carry out your wishes and protect your loved ones. We have several lawyers listed on Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists, and we have many testimonials from satisfied customers. At Melone Hatley, we offer the experience of a large firm but the attention and care of a small boutique firm. We genuinely listen to the concerns of our clients and create custom solutions to suit their individual needs.
We have years of experience protecting the interests of the decedent’s estate as well as the beneficiaries they wish to receive their assets. We will stand by your side every step of the way with legal advice and legal services regarding all of the legal issues that go with Virginia estate planning.
Our comprehensive estate planning services range from last wills and testaments to powers of attorney, estate taxes, estate administration, fiduciary responsibilities, guardianships of minor children and special needs children, transfers of real estate, trust administration, advance medical directives, business succession planning, and more. Our Virginia estates and trusts lawyers are ready to stand by your side. Contact Melone Hatley to modify or create your estate plan today.
If you are in Virginia, from Fairfax, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and beyond, and need assistance with comprehensive estate planning services, Melone Hatley is ready to help. We care about our clients and are well-versed in all the Virginia laws surrounding estates and trusts. Call us for an appointment today at 800-479-8124 or use our online contact form.
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