How to Create an Estate Plan for a Disabled Beneficiary

Many people choose to create an estate plan to provide for their loved ones after their death. In some cases, this may include providing care for a person with a physical or mental disability. If you intend to leave any portion of your estate to a disabled beneficiary, it’s crucial to develop your plan carefully […]

6 Estate Planning Resolutions for 2021

Whether they’re for self-improvement, career-oriented, or health-related, New Year’s resolutions can help set the tone for the next 365 days and beyond. That’s why we recommend adding estate planning resolutions to your list. It’s never too early to determine how your estate and other assets will be distributed to your family and loved ones, especially […]

Is a Simple Will Enough? Why You May Need Other Estate Planning Tools

A simple Will is a good start for your estate plans, but it may not be enough for your needs. When you use a Will to leave your assets to loved ones, you trigger the probate process, which can mean administrative headaches and delays before your named executor is able to deliver anything to them […]

6 Questions to Ask Yourself as You Make Your First Estate Plan

An estate plan ensures your loved ones and assets are taken care of if you become incapacitated or pass away. While it’s not exactly an uplifting task, it’s important to plan ahead so your loved ones aren’t caught off-guard or left to sort through your affairs on their own. However, thinking about your final wishes, […]

Can I Disclaim My Inheritance?

In most cases, when a loved one leaves you something in their Will or Trust, it’s an honor. However, that doesn’t always mean you’d like to inherit the property or assets passed down to you. There are plenty of valid reasons to disclaim your inheritance, and with the proper legal documentation, you may refuse assets […]

How to Get Help with Estate Plans During COVID-19

On March 30, Governor Ralph Northam joined other state governors in signing a temporary stay-at-home order for the Commonwealth of Virginia, through June 10, to fight the spread of COVID-19. Under the order, Virginia residents are not permitted to leave their homes for non-essential purposes, which would include meeting in-person at an attorney’s office to […]

How Do Estate Taxes Work?

Tax Day is rapidly approaching, and as you prepare to file your tax return this year, it’s a good idea to also review the current legislation on estate and gift taxes. While the Commonwealth of Virginia effectively repealed its state-level estate or inheritance tax in 2007, federal estate tax laws still apply to estates of […]

What Is a Special Needs Trust?

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, you may need to set up some special protections in your estate plan to ensure he or she will be properly cared for when you pass away, especially when your child reaches adulthood. The most common way to do this is by establishing a […]

How to Identify and Prevent Estate Planning Fraud

When you make estate plans during your lifetime, your goal is to make the probate process as stress-free as possible for your surviving loved ones when you die. Usually, a valid will and other estate planning documents mitigate a lot of potential questions and controversy in probate court. However, estate planning fraud and probate fraud […]

Does Your Teenage Social Media Influencer Need an Estate Plan?

With the rise of social media influencers like the Kardashian sisters and popular YouTubers, some pre-teens and teenagers are acquiring fame — and money — at an early age. Take it from 8-year-old Ryan Kaji, who earned $22 million in revenue in 2018 from his YouTube toy reviews. If your child has begun accumulating their […]

Planning for Incapacity: What Documents Do I Need?

Creating a valid will or trust plan gives comfort and clarity to your loved ones when you pass away. Equally important, though, is having an incapacity plan. In the event that you become unable to make decisions for yourself due to an accident or health complications, an incapacity plan lets you appoint a capable adult […]

What Is a Revocable Living Trust and Do You Need One?

There are several different legal mechanisms that allow you to pass your estate on to your loved ones after you die. Many people opt to draft a Last Will and Testament. However, estate death taxes and other considerations can complicate things for families. While increases in exemptions from estate death taxes have worked in the […]

Virginia Inheritance Laws: What Is Your Family Entitled to After You Die?

If you die away without a will, this is known as “dying intestate.” The terms “intestate” and “testate” come from the longer name given to wills, which is a “Last Will and Testament.” So, if you pass away with a will, this is known as “dying testate.” Dying without a will has serious consequences and […]

Estate Planning Questions You Never Thought to Ask

To say estate planning can cause stress is an understatement. When you sit down to plan for the unthinkable, you’ll find it can be emotional and downright confusing as you navigate the plethora of “what ifs.” Many people postpone their estate planning for as long as possible as they may feel they are being faced […]

How to Choose an Executor for Your Will

When you pass away, your executor is the one who will legally tie up any loose ends. They will typically handle of any or all of the following responsibilities: File court documents for the probate process Fulfill the distribution provisions contained in your will for any beneficiaries Pay estate’s final bills, debts, and taxes Notify […]

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 […]

Estate Planning Documents: What Do I Need?

You probably know you need to write a will to distribute your property and financial assets following your death. This is a good start, but for a comprehensive, complete estate plan, you’ll need a few more essential documents. Other estate planning tools, such as a living trust and a power of attorney (POA) agreement, work […]

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 […]

How Do I Choose a Legal Guardian for My Child?

It’s something no parent wants to think about, but eventually must ask themselves: Who would take care of your child if you passed away before they reach adulthood? For most people, the answer is their spouse or partner. However, if you’re a single parent – or, if you’re considering the unlikely event that both you […]

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 […]

You May Want to Consider Holding Power of Attorney for Your Adult Child

Your child is always your child, except in the eyes of the law where an 18 year old is considered to be legal adults. However, as many parents know, at this age, or even beyond, many children are still not ready to be on their own and may need your input or assistance in major […]

Divorce 101 in Virginia

Nobody likes divorce, but sometimes getting a divorce becomes a necessity, and apart from the emotional impact divorce imposes on families, there are a number of legal issues that need to be addressed. This is why it is always a good idea to speak with an attorney, like the Law Office of Patricia E. Tichenor, […]

Avoid the Common Pitfalls of Estate Planning

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, […]