Avoid the Common Pitfalls of Estate Planning

The Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C Virginia

Avoid Common Pitfalls of Estate Planning
NOVA Estate Lawyers – Leesburg, Virginia

Surprisingly, even well-educated Virginians can err when it comes to planning their estates. No matter what one’s financial situation is, there are elements to a solid estate plan that need to be set in place that often get overlooked.

Here are some of the common pitfalls of estate planning:

1. No Will. Without a will, assets are distributed in accordance with state law. This can result in unintended allocations. Having a will gives you the opportunity to decide who gets what and when assets are distributed.

In addition, you should try to avoid the one-size-fits-all estate planning documents so often found via the Internet. They often fail to take into account the unique facts and circumstances of your life. What’s more, because Virginia law contains several nuanced requirements, these computer-generated documents might end up being invalid.

2. Life Insurance Proceeds Not Transferred. Life insurance proceeds can affect estate taxes. If an insured person owns their insurance proceeds at death, the proceeds become part of the estate and are, therefore, taxable. However, an insured person can transfer ownership of their life insurance proceeds before death through a trust, for example, thereby minimizing estate tax liability.

3. Not Using Gift Exclusions. Several available gift exclusions are provided in the Tax Code, where you can gift portions of your estate to others prior to your death without tax penalties. Giving gifts can be an effective and fulfilling way to decrease future estate tax liability.

4. Naming the Wrong Executor. The person you assign to handle your estate upon your death can be demanding. Be sure your executor is up to the job.

5. Not Planning Ahead. It is important to start planning as soon as possible, although it is never too late to create an estate plan. An estate plan provides the opportunity to plan your healthcare wishes and create financial strategies for a number of different situations.

6. Not Updating Your Estate Plan. If circumstances change in your life, you should revise your estate plan accordingly. Failing to do so could result in problems transferring your estate down the line.

At the Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C., we are specialists in   estate planning procedures and can help you draft and solidify your plan for a secure and rewarding future. Please call (703) 669-6700 to schedule an appointment with either Patricia Tichenor or Camellia Safi, attorneys at law.

New Early-Detection Alzheimer’s Test May Enable Early Guardianship Decisions

Tichenor Law

Pre-Determine Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Estate Planning Needs
NOVA Estate Lawyers – Leesburg, Virginia

When we talk about guardianship and conservatorship issues, a lot of questions are raised as to what conditions constitute having to necessitate a guardianship or conservatorship. One of these is Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease
A form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease that starts slowly and worsens over time. Its symptoms can include difficulty remembering short-term events, language problems, disorientation, mood swings, lack of self-care management or behavioral issues. Gradually, the person’s condition declines, leading to a withdrawal from family and society, and ultimately death.

Because the disease creates debilitating symptoms, family members may need to step in and take over with issues like daily care, medical treatments, and housing. Many times the responsibilities of guardianship and conservatorship are thrust upon an individual, leaving them with many questions and few answers.

New Tests May be Able to Detect Alzheimer’s Early
Although early detection wasn’t always possible in the past, modern medicine has developed a new test that could help predict the progression of Alzheimer’s in at-risk patients. Using saliva samples, researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada were able to detect specific bio-markers that indicated a link to possible cognitive degeneration. With refinement, this test could assist doctors worldwide to better predict a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Pre-Determine Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Estate Planning Needs
Knowing the risks of Alzheimer’s development can help families make calm and rational decisions in advance concerning guardianship, conservatorship, and care for the afflicted family member. Decisions that should include irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and other estate planning decisions.

Contact Your Attorney
At the Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C., attorneys Patricia Tichenor and Camellia Safi specialize in family law and estate planning to assist families in drafting the documents that ensure the safekeeping of long-term care issues involved with Alzheimer’s patients. Don’t wait until the last minute to make these important decisions. Call us today to schedule a consultation. We can provide the answers you need.

The Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, P.L.L.C.
Professional Legal Services or Legal Representation
(703) 669-6700

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