How to Update Your Estate Plan After a Divorce

The divorce process is often a very long and painful one. Although you may have already moved on emotionally, some legal aspects of your life can’t move forward until your divorce is finalized by the court. When you do receive that long-awaited divorce decree, one of your first priorities should be updating your estate plans. […]

Gifting as an Estate Planning Tool: What You Need to Know

For many people, passing on money and property to their loved ones happens after they die. However, if you have a sizable estate, you may not want to wait until then to give your heirs their full inheritance. Under current federal law, individual estates valued above $10 million or $20 million per couple (indexed for […]

Estate Planning Tips for New Parents

Before you had your child, you only had to think about inheritance for your partner (and maybe your siblings or cousins). As self-sufficient adults, your heirs would be financially OK if you died tomorrow and left them whatever was in your estate. More importantly, they’d understand what to do with those assets and how to […]

The True Costs of Probate: How to Save Your Loved Ones Money

You might think you can save on estate planning costs by skipping the lawyer and writing your own will, or forgoing a will altogether. While a good estate planning attorney does cost money, their fees pale in comparison to what your loved ones will have to pay if your assets get tied up in probate […]

Will Your Estate Plan Be Impacted by the New Tax Law?

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law in December 2017, it brought numerous, significant changes for individuals and businesses alike. With Tax Day 2018 behind us, many taxpayers have already felt the impact of this sweeping tax reform. Overall, the changes promise to benefit the average American – some of […]

Divorce in the Military

Divorce laws vary from state to state, and are generally controlled by the statutes of the State where the parties last cohabitated as husband and wife. But, what if you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces? Do the same rules apply? When it comes to military divorces, special rules and requirements apply to […]

Dealing with a Family Member’s Arrest

You’ve received that phone call where the loved one on the other end of the line says, “I’ve been arrested.” Now what do you do? Remain Calm The first recommendation is to remain calm. Your loved one needs your strength now, so help them calm down as well. Ask them to be respectful with the […]

Protective Orders for Spouses or Children in Virginia

A protective, or restraining, order is a court-issued legal document designed to protect the petitioner from of violence, abuse and threats for a fixed period of time. It is designed to protect the safety and health of any person who is placed in fear or threat of bodily injury. 3 Types of Family Abuse Protective […]

Navigating the Costs of Nursing Home and Long-Term Care

When you’ve worked a lifetime to accumulate wealth, you don’t want to lose it all due to a disability, prolonged illness or cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease. Since approximately 69% of the population aged 65 and older will develop disabilities before they die, and 35% will eventually enter a nursing home, reports the Family […]

Where to Store Your Important Records

With all the news about natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, it makes one think about how to store and protect important records like your birth certificate, will or power of attorney designation. Keeping originals of these important records in your home may make them easy to reach, but may not be the best […]

Child Emancipation in Virginia

Until a person is 18 years of age, the legal age of majority in Virginia, their parents or guardians have the right to both custody and control. They have legal responsibility to provide the child with shelter, food, clothing, medical care, supervision, and education, and are legally responsible if the child breaks the law. Once […]

Appraising Your Estate for Transfer, Divorce or Inheritance

When it comes time for disposal or transition of your marital property due to divorce or property inherited by you from a deceased relative, one of the first things you may need to determine is its appraised value, whether for re-sale or buy-out purposes. There are many items to consider within a marital or probate […]

What You Need to Know about Adoption in Virginia

If you are considering adopting a child, there are several routes you can take to expand your family. The first step is to decide what type of adoption works best for you. You can opt to adopt through a public or private agency that can facilitate the entire process, from locating birth parents to terminating […]

Setting Up a Memorial Fund

Setting up a memorial fund is one of the best and most rewarding ways to pay tribute to a loved one who has passed away, and to help keep their legacy alive. With a memorial fund, families can both preserve the memory of departed loves ones and make a true difference in their community. There […]

You May Be Liable For Your Minor Child’s Actions

Children get into trouble; it’s a given part of their growing-up process. However, when their actions cause damage to someone else’s person or property, many parents may not realize that they too could be liable for their child’s actions. The courts decided long ago that it was unfair for someone to bear the financial burden […]

Legally Establishing Paternity

A new baby always creates excitement within a family, with doting parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family members sharing the joy. In most cases, parentage is well known and accepted. However, in others, the identity of the father might be in question. Under Virginia law, only one man can possess paternity of a child at […]

Estate Planning When You Own a Business

When you own a business, a large part of your family’s income and wealth is most likely tied up in the business. Therefore, you need to plan what will happen to that business following your becoming incapacitated or your death. This type of estate planning is often called succession planning. You may want to keep […]

Domestic Violence Should Not Be Kept Quiet

Although we all want our happy ending, domestic violence happens. It can begin with verbal abuse such as shouting or name calling, then escalate over time to pushing, hitting, and sometimes even death. Within the Cycle of Abuse, your abuser apologizes for his or her actions, begging your forgiveness and promising never to do it […]

The Act of Revoking or Changing a Will

Once you have prepared your Will, whether through a trusted attorney or by using an on-line software program, there may come a time when you need to update or change it. Since life is never stagnant, you should ensure that any life changes appear in your Will so that your wishes are carried out following […]

Post-Nuptial Agreements – Could a Contract Save Your Marriage?

As strange as it may seem, a post-marital or post-nuptial contract might be the secret to a strong marriage. It could also heal the wounds that might otherwise result in divorce. This can be especially true for people who are re-marrying and bringing with them separate assets, an inheritance from a deceased parents, or children […]

Choosing a Power of Attorney

Quickly defined, a Power of Attorney (POA) is a powerful estate planning tool that allows you to appoint a spouse, trusted family member, or friend to assist with handling your financial and medical affairs during a period of disability when you might not be able to do this for yourself. This person may be referred […]

Grandparent Visitation Rights

Until as recently as 40 years ago, the legal concept of grandparent visitation rights did not exist. This is because parents have a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children. There are a number of reasons why grandparents might be denied visitation by family members, including a […]

Modifying Your Estate Plan: How and When To Do It

Congratulations for setting up your estate plan. You have taken the right steps to insure that your estate is distributed as you wish following your passing. But how long ago did you create this plan? If it has been longer than three to five years ago, you might want to look at modifying it. Life […]

Alimony, Spousal Support and Imputation

Many issues can come up during the course of a divorce, one of which is imputation of income. For most people, this is not a common term, although it can be a common problem, so let me explain it. When two people divorce, one of the considerations is the payment of alimony or spousal support. […]

What You Need to Know About International Custody and Child Abduction

Child abduction is one of the most heartbreaking events than can happen to any parent and is one of the most emotionally-charged areas of family law. It can also involve diplomatic involvement, especially when different countries are involved. Some countries may protect a parent from being forced to return a child if the abducting parent […]