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Jun 22, 2018, 11:45 AM
Over the years, many clients, neighbors, friends, and family members have asked me what would happen to their assets if they were to die without a Will. Some people believe that if they die without a Will, their assets would become the property of the state in which they live. In fact, this belief is a misconception in all but the most limited circumstances.
Jun 12, 2018, 10:36 AM
Many married couples own their homes as Tenants by the Entirety with right of survivorship as at Common Law. This form of ownership usually protects the house in the event one of the spouses has a creditor issue (i.e. judgement). What many spouses and even some professionals do not realize is that married couples can own almost any asset (real or personal) as Tenants by the Entirety with the right of survivorship in Virginia and thereby protect those assets from the creditor of just one of the spouses.
Jun 4, 2018, 11:12 AM
In Virginia, most people’s estates are probated in the city or county in which they lived at the time of their death. For Virginia residents who pass away owning real estate outside of Virginia, probate matters can be significantly more involved.
May 18, 2018, 6:18 PM
If you’ve been appointed as a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated adult, you’ve petitioned the court and obtained an order in the incapacitated person’s home state. Should you and the incapacitated person move to another state, however, that guardianship order may not be recognized.
May 14, 2018, 10:45 AM
This is the unfortunate case of John Spottiswood and Nancy Miyasaki, a married couple seeking an abatement and refund of penalties they paid for late filing their return and late payment their 2012 income taxes. While this decision coming out of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will make all taxpayers a little nervous, it should scare the bejeezus out of tax return preparers. It serves as an example of how liability for tax return preparation and filing in general, has subtly shifted from taxpayers to the preparers with the proliferation of electronic tax return filing.
May 11, 2018, 10:20 AM
From 1987 through 2003, the federal estate tax exemption amount was between $600,000 and $1,000,000. This prompted many people to create Irrevocable Trusts to hold life insurance, or other Irrevocable Trusts to hold appreciating assets. The purpose was to remove life insurance proceeds or to remove the appreciation of an asset (think Amazon or Alphabet stock) from one’s taxable estate.
May 7, 2018, 11:08 AM
Many business owners struggle with the dilemma of how to retain their key employees without deluding their stock ownership in the company. This is especially applicable for closely held business owners who want to retain key personnel not only during the term of their ownership, but possibly when the owner turns over control to the next generation.
Apr 30, 2018, 10:00 AM
When a person dies owning a 401(k) or an IRA, must these accounts be used to pay the decedent’s debts, or are they exempt from the claims of the decedent’s creditors? The short answer is: it depends.
Apr 27, 2018, 11:00 AM
Deciding what to do with your assets after you pass away can involve a series of difficult decisions. These decisions are made even more difficult when one of your loved ones struggles with addiction or mental health issues.
Apr 25, 2018, 4:40 PM
As discussed in previous posts, for the purposes of guardianship and conservatorship, an “incapacitated person” means an adult who has been found by a court to be incapable of receiving and evaluating information effectively or responding to people, events, or environments to such an extent that the individual lacks the capacity to (i) meet the essential requirements for his health, care, safety, or therapeutic needs without the assistance or protection of a guardian or (ii) manage property or financial affairs or provide for his support or for the support of his legal dependents without the assistance or protection of a conservator.