Estate Planning & Wills and Trusts
The value of a good estate plan
You have worked your entire life, attaining the most basic assets—your home, cars, bank accounts, financial portfolio, retirement accounts—assets that may be substantially taxed without proper estate planning. Increases in real estate values significantly increase estate values, pushing people towards potential estate tax liabilities.
We can minimize or avoid these risks in most cases by planning properly. If you own assets you want to protect, it may be time to consider an estate plan.
Estate plans are for everyone
Many people think estate plans are tools reserved for multi-millionaires. However, current federal estate laws can impose sizeable taxes on your estate upon your death if it meets certain criteria. A good estate plan protects your assets, allowing your accumulated wealth to pass through to your heirs.
Grad, Logan & Klewans provides valuable planning services for large and small estates. When you contact our office regarding preparation of a will, trust, or other estate planning documents, we send you a confidential questionnaire. We also schedule an appointment to discuss your estate plan concerns in person.
The initial appointment is extremely comprehensive and usually lasts between one and two hours. Our lawyers provide a clear recommendation at the end of the first meeting. We explain which documents are appropriate to meet your estate planning needs and provide a cost estimate for preparing the items we recommend.
There is no charge for the first meeting if you decide that you do not want to retain our estate planning services. We generally base our estate planning fees on the documents’ complexity and they are usually a set fee rather than one based on an hourly rate. We provide a cost estimate based on the information available at the end of the first meeting.
The estate planning lawyers at Grad, Logan & Klewans, P.C. recommend a will, power of attorney, and an advanced medical directive in most cases. There are also many cases in which we recommend the use of a revocable trust, also known as a living or grantor trust.
During the initial meeting, we explain in detail why these documents are important. We also discuss the unique estate planning concerns and options available for non-U.S. citizens. Our attorneys have experience preparing wills, trusts, and other documents based on individual client’s needs.
Wills and living wills
Wills provide choices during your lifetime and a voice following it. Wills specify the distribution of particular assets to beneficiaries and are a staple of most estate plans. Grad, Logan & Klewans, P.C. often recommends the use of a living will in addition to a standard will.
A living will, also called an advance medical directive or healthcare power of attorney, states your wishes concerning your health care should you be incapacitated. You can use a living will to address decisions regarding resuscitation, life support, or continued medical care.
Choosing a trust that fits your needs
Revocable trusts provide you with continued flexibility after implementation. You can make modifications at your discretion, thus providing more efficient asset transfer than probating a will. Our lawyers thoroughly discuss your individual circumstances with you to determine the type of trust to implement in your situation.
There are numerous types of trusts, including revocable living trusts, grantor trusts, and special needs trusts. The attorneys of Grad, Logan & Klewans thoroughly explain these options and prepare documents that address your concerns. We also assist in selecting a trustee to administer the property.
Estate plans and avoiding probate
Probate in Virginia is not as complicated as some would believe. The complexity of an individual case determines the level of complication. Trusts are a way to avoid probate altogether, whether it is simple or complex.
Estate plans give you choices as to who receives your assets, as opposed to leaving the decision to the state or judiciary. You can provide for your beneficiaries with a good estate plan, giving you the control you want, as well as peace of mind.
Many Maryland and D.C. residents work in Northern Virginia. Often it is more convenient to work with an attorney close to your office. Our firm works with Maryland, D.C. and Virginia residents.