At the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez, we believe informed clients make the best decisions about their estate plans. Critical decisions about end-of-life care, financial matters and health care require careful planning. A licensed attorney can advise you on your personal situation and ensure there are no surprises at this difficult time. Contact our office either online or at 202-525-7710 for a consultation to get specific legal advice for your estate plan.
What goes into an estate plan in Northern Virginia or Washington, DC?
An estate plan will include the documents that accommodate your specific needs. It may involve some or all of the following:
Last will and testament
Living trust or irrevocable trust
Health care directives, including medical powers of attorney, living wills, health care proxy, do not resuscitate (DNR) or do not intubate (DNI) orders
Succession plan for business
Trusts as Part of an Estate Plan in Northern Virginia or Washington, DC
In general, people establish a trust for their own financial purposes or to financially protect their family members. Many different types of trusts exist that can accommodate the different reasons people have. At the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez, our trust attorney in Northern Virginia helps you figure out which trust will work best for you and your needs and then guide you through the entire process, which––depending on the amount and extent of assets and the instructions accompanying them––can be either a relatively quick or enduring one.
A trust is a way for a property owner to pass their assets to someone else to protect the assets and to avoid the probate process, if applicable. The trustor, also referred to as the settlor or trust maker, is the owner of the property and transfers it to the trustee. The trustee is the one who manages the property for the benefit of someone else, known as the beneficiary. The beneficiary is a person or entity whom the trust was established.
Trusts can have multiple trustors, trustees, and beneficiaries. Typically, a different person or entity serves each of these unique roles. Sometimes, though, the trustor can act as both the trustor and trustee. Likewise, in limited situations, the trustee can act as both the trustee and the beneficiary.
As part of an estate plan, a trust can be used to minimize estate taxes (for someone with high assets). But they offer other benefits, too, if well-crafted. A trust can keep your assets private even when you die because a trust does not need to go through probate, and probate is a matter of public record. Also, a trust can protect assets from creditors or help beneficiaries who cannot manage money well.
Whatever your need is for a trust, our estate planning lawyer can help make sure your trust is drafted in a way that benefits you and the intended beneficiaries. Contact our office today either using the online form or calling 202-525-7710 to schedule a consultation.
Examples of Different Types of Trusts
Just to give you an idea of what types of trusts there are to address your specific needs, here's a list of some of the most common.
Asset protection trust
Special needs trust
Tax by-pass trust
Benefits of a Trust in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC
As mentioned, trusts are beneficial to avoid probate and taxes. By using a trust (in addition to a will or in lieu of a will), assets of a trust pass directly to the trust's beneficiary when the trustor dies. This process means the assets do not go into the trustor's estate – they are transferred inter vivos, or between living people. As a result, certain estate taxes do not apply to trusts. Using a trust to pass property to your heirs can have tax advantages and can avoid the potential legal complications of dividing your estate or a contested will.
A trust also gives you the ability to create instructions and conditions for asset distribution upon your death–giving you control over your assets even when you are not here. So, if you have a beneficiary whom you want to finish college before disbursement of funds or if you want only a certain amount of funds disbursed at different times in the beneficiary's life, you get to decide those things. Further, you can identify a successor trustee––someone you know who can manage the trust according to the terms and conditions.
To learn more about trusts and if you will need an estate planning lawyer in Northern Virginia to help you with it, contact our office today..
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC Today
At the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez, we know you have lots of questions about estate planning. Our estate planning lawyer in Northern Virginia is here to answer your specific questions. Contact us either by using our online form or calling us directly at 202-525-7710 to schedule a consultation.