Northern Virginia Wills and Trusts Attorneys Offer Comprehensive Estate Planning Services
Extensive experience helping Virginia families create a plan to fit your needs
It is important to have confidence that your estate plan will successfully accomplish your goals. You have worked hard to build wealth during your lifetime, and you deserve to have it handled in accordance with your wishes. Drafting the right will and trust for you is an essential part of the estate planning process. At Altman and Associates, we focus solely on estate planning and take our responsibility to clients seriously. We are dedicated to walking you through your options and ensuring we create a plan that is best for your personal situation. We have more than 40 years combined experience helping individuals and families in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.
What is a living trust, and are there any tax benefits?
The primary benefit of a trust is to avoid a complicated and expensive probate process. A living trust simply means that it is created while you are living, rather than coming into existence as a result of your death. You can name yourself as the “trustee” while you are living, meaning you still retain control over the assets you have placed in your trust.
The amount of taxes your beneficiaries will owe depends on a number of factors, including:
- The size of the estate
- The location of the assets
- The structure of the trust
- How ownership of the property is structured (Ex: is your home owned in joint tenancy with a spouse?)
Each individual situation is unique, and it is important that you walk through your assets with a competent, local estate planning attorney so you fully understand your future tax liabilities. We have more than 40 years of combined experience helping clients evaluate their estate and creating trusts for them, when appropriate. We find that knowing the legal landscape and having a plan in place gives our clients peace of mind as they approach the future.
If I have a trust, do I need a will?
In short, yes. There are several reasons you should have a will, including:
- In cases where there is a trust, sometimes not all of your property makes it into the trust. What’s known as a “pour-over will” can ensure left over property makes it into the will. Or, if there is property that you intentionally leave out of your trust, you can use the will to provide instructions on how you would like it to be handled.
- If you don’t have a will or trust documents, your estate will be handled according to Virginia law and distributed to your closest relatives – possibly not as you intended.
The complexity of wills can range from very simple to incredibly lengthy and detailed, depending your desires and estate plan. What is most important is that it is done right to ensure your wishes are met and an easy administrative process for your heirs. A will contest can add time and money to the administration process, and sometimes lead to lasting rifts within families. We know each person and family has different needs. We take the time to get to know your estate planning goals so we can craft a personalized, comprehensive plan that works for you and accurately accomplishes your wishes.
Trust our skilled Northern Virginia estate planning attorneys
The award-winning Northern Virginia estate planning attorneys at Altman and Associates are happy to help individuals and families in Northern Virginia with all your estate planning goals. Professionalism and integrity are essential to our practice, and we are committed to providing the highest quality of service to our clients. Call us at 301- 468-3220 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.