Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Estate Planning Archives

A letter of instruction can complement an estate plan

It is important for people in Richmond to have an air-tight estate plan. This may include having a will or trust (or both), power of attorney for health care, a living will, financial power of attorney and more. An estate plan can be complex. To help ensure loved ones fully understand one's intentions for their estate plan, it may help to draft a letter of instruction. While this is not a legally-enforceable document, it can provide clarity.

There are many good reasons, besides taxes, for estate planning

People in Virginia may wonder, "Should I have an estate plan?" After all, thinking about one's death is unpleasant, and some people may want to avoid making the tough decisions that must be made in the estate planning process. Moreover, when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was passed, it increased the federal estate tax threshold two-fold to $11.8 million. As far as estate planning goes, this means that fewer people will be subject to the estate tax upon their death. Some people may think, then, that they do not need a will or trust, because the estate tax will not apply to them.

Anticipate the unexpected through estate planning

Many people in Richmond have had the foresight to see that they have assets they want to pass down to loved ones through an inheritance. Therefore, they may have created what they believed to be a well-rounded estate plan. They may even have executed a trust in order to see that their heirs will not have to deal with the time-consuming and costly probate process. However, life continues to go on even after we die. Our heirs could experience a divorce, an untimely death, a lawsuit, bankruptcy or an incapacitating injury or illness that could affect where their inheritance ultimately ends up.

An estate plan can protect the interests of business owners

Whether a person in Richmond is the third generation to inherit the family business, or whether they started their small business from the ground up, business ownership is a difficult but worthwhile endeavor. Business owners will naturally want to see their business grow and thrive, even after their death. Therefore, estate planning is important for those who own a small business.

Anticipate the unexpected through estate planning

Most people in Virginia don't anticipate dying young. Unfortunately, it can happen. People develop fatal illnesses; are involved in deadly car crashes; or have their lives cut short in other ways. When the unthinkable happens, what will happen to your loved ones who must move on from their loss?

It pays to have an understanding of the estate tax

Many people in Virginia may have heard of the federal estate tax, but may not be entirely sure what it is or if it even applies to them. In fact, under current law most estates do not wind up being taxed when a person dies. And, for those who would pay an estate tax, this obligation may be repealed by 2024 if certain pieces of legislation are passed.

Blow the dust off that estate plan and give it a second look

Some people in Richmond may have taken the wise step of creating a comprehensive estate plan. While estate planning is a good thing to do, it is important not to let your estate plan languish and collect dust as the years go by. Instead, from time to time it should be reviewed, to ensure it still meets your needs. The following are some life events that may warrant a review of one's estate plan.

Estate planning involves more than just a simple will

Some people in Richmond may have taken the wise step of creating a will, but then stopped there thinking their estate plan is complete. However, a well-rounded estate plan encompasses more than just a simple will. Let's go over some other documents that a person may want to include in their estate plan.

Basics of drafting a will

While no one enjoys thinking about their demise, it can extremely helpful to consider how you want your estate to be handled in the event of your passing. The most common way of communicating your wishes to the survivors of your estate is through a will. There are, however, some considerations that should be taken into account when drafting and eventually finalizing a will.

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