The estate planning attorneys at Hartsoe & Morgan offer full-service estate planning services for clients throughout Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties,
with packages that include Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, and Advance Medical Directives.
Families and individuals across Northern Virginia need estate planning regardless of the size of an estate, to ensure that your assets pass in the manner you desire and to reduce the costs of the administration of your estate. Without valid planning documents in place, the Circuit Courts will determine who will play such important roles as Executor for your estate, and will even be in charge of determining the proper Guardian for your minor children.
Very often, the only document people consider when thinking about estate planning is a Will; however, there are several other documents that can be helpful in creating a comprehensive plan for management of finances and health care choices both before and after your death. Hartsoe & Morgan offers affordable packages with the additional documents you may need to put your entire plan into place. By preparing comprehensive planning documents, you as the Testator make the decisions about the distribution of your estate, and more importantly, nominate those persons who will be granted Guardianship of your children and your children’s inherited estate. Additional documents allow you to outline your wishes for healthcare, in the event you are unable to make your own decisions, and can alleviate the need for court intervention to ensure your wishes are carried out. A financial power of attorney allows an agent of your choosing to handle your affairs if you are incapable of managing your assets, either due to illness or extensive travel.
If you would like to design a plan that allows for greater control over the eventual distribution of your assets, our estate planning lawyers can draft an Inter Vivos (or “Living”) Trust to meet your family’s needs. A Trust can help alleviate the costs and duration of probate in Virginia, and allows for greater privacy after your death.
A Trust has several benefits for individuals who seek greater control of future management, including:
• Trusts do not go through the probate process, which means that assets are available almost immediately for beneficiaries.
• Depending on the type of assets, estate taxes for the decedent can be reduced through a properly-designed trust.
• A Trust can preserve assets for children in a blended family scenario, while allowing the surviving spouse access to funds that may be needed for day-to-day living.
• Active Trusts allow almost complete control of management and distribution of the trust assets after the death of the Testator, in comparison to Wills or testamentary Trusts, which provide the outline for the Testator’s wishes.
If you have questions about your estate plan, or would like more information about the types of instruments available in Virginia and how
they may apply to your plan and family scenario, please contact Hartsoe & Morgan to schedule an introductory appointment.