FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1.  Do I need a Will or a Trust?

 

Ask yourself if you know where you stand if you don’t have one of these documents.  Virginia law will control what happens to the property of a Virginia resident at his or her death if the individual has no legal documents controlling those assets. 

Creating a Will or Trust allows you to decide the beneficiaries who will inherit your assets, plus: who will be in charge of managing your estate after you die, and when and how your beneficiaries will inherit your assets.  If you have a minor child, you can designate in your Will who you wish to be your child's guardian.

 

A Living Trust or Revocable Trust can be a valuable part of an estate plan.  Having a trust does not eliminate the need for a Will.  We can help you determine if a trust would be appropriate for you.

If you have a loved one with special needs, it is important to consider how your loved one will be provided for after you are gone.  A Special Needs Trust is invaluable in many such cases.

 

There are many types of trusts.  Trusts can provide tax benefits and can reduce the expenses of estate administration.

 

2.  What is “probate”?

 

Probate is the court process of proving and recording a Will as the authentic and valid Last Will and Testament of a deceased person.  Qualification of an Executor usually takes place when a Will is probated.

3.  Can I change my Will after I create it?

You can revoke your Will during your lifetime, as long as you are mentally competent.  You must be at least eighteen years old and "of sound mind and disposing memory." 

4. Are there taxes when someone dies?

 

Generally, yes.  A probate tax applies when probate of a Will occurs which is based on the value of the assets transferred by a Will.  A final income tax return for the deceased person may need to be filed.  Virginia and federal estate tax returns may also be required.  You should consult with an accountant about tax filings.

 

5.  I don’t want to be hooked up to machines when I die.  How can I avoid this?

 

You can sign a “Living Will” (also known as a “Death With Dignity Declaration”) or an "Advanced Medical Directive" by which you can direct that you want to die naturally and that you do not wish to be kept alive by artificial means to prolonging your dying in the event your death is imminent as determined by your attending physician.

 

6.  How much do you charge for a Will?

During an initial estate planning appointment with our law firm, you can explain your wishes and ask questions.  Mariah can answer your questions and explain your options.  At the conclusion of this meeting, you can decide what documents you want drafted.  Mariah can then quote you a fee based on the work to be doneThe goal is to be straightforward and fair about pricing.   

PLEASE NOTEThis website is for informational purposes only.  The information you obtain from this website is NOT legal advice and it is NOT tax advice, nor is it intended to be.  You should consult with an attorney in order to obtain legal advice regarding your specific situation.  You should consult with a certified public accountant in order to obtain advice about taxes.  We invite you to contact us, but contacting us without specifically retaining our services does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send any confidential information to this law firm until such time as an attorney-client relationship is established.  Using this website or communicating with The Daniel Law Office does not form an attorney-client relationship.