Mortality and taxes are two subjects that are never easy to talk about, but as the saying goes, both are inevitable. PLDR’s attorneys strive to make these subjects less intimidating, more understandable, and easier to deal with. Our goal is for you to fully understand whatever issues you are facing and to provide you with ideas and opportunities to minimize the potential ill effects of failing to plan for these eventualities.
PLDR’s attorneys stand ready to assist you with all of your legal needs involving these matters, whether it be:
A will is a formal legal document by which an individual, the testator, expresses his wishes as to how his property is to be distributed at death and names one or more executors to manage his estate until its final distribution. A will may also appoint a guardian for minor children that can be upheld in court if there is a contest. A will can also establish a testamentary trust to manage assets if the testator does not believe his beneficiaries are able, for whatever reason, to manage them individually. PLDR attorneys have much experience drafting wills to accomplish various objectives and a full understanding of the execution formalities required by law.
A trust is a written agreement in which one party, known as a grantor or settlor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold and manage property or assets for the benefit of another. There are many different kinds of trusts that can be drafted to ensure the grantor’s wishes are met and to plan for a wide variety of situations. Trusts are often used for tax planning, to provide for an individual with special needs, to preserve assets for future generations, and to ensure privacy by avoiding probate. With years of experience in drafting custom trust agreements of all kinds, PLDR attorneys can assist you in tailoring a trust that meets your needs and objectives.
A power of attorney is a written authorization giving an agent, also known as an attorney-in-fact, the power to act in the principal’s place to deal with his assets and financial affairs during the principal’s lifetime. General powers of attorney give broad powers to the agent, while special powers of attorney grant specific powers to agents over certain assets or transactions. Importantly, durable powers of attorney remain valid and in effect even after the principal becomes incapacitated or mentally incompetent due to illness, accident, or age, which makes powers of attorney a crucial planning tool.
An advance medical directive, also known as a living will or healthcare power of attorney, is a legal document that appoints an agent to act on the principal’s behalf to make medical treatment and end of life decisions for the principal in the event that the principal is incapable of doing so himself.
A generation-skipping transfer is any transfer of property by gift or at death, to any person who, under federal tax law, is assigned to a generation that is two or more generations below that of the transferor. With some exceptions, a generation-skipping transfer tax applies to generation skipping transfers. There are certain planning measures PLDR attorneys can help you take advantage of to reduce or eliminate generation skipping transfer taxes.
Although the Commonwealth of Virginia no longer levies an estate or inheritance tax, the federal government imposes a tax on estates over a certain value. PLDR attorneys can assist individuals and couples who expect their estates to reach the estate tax threshold take advantage of certain planning measures to reduce or eliminate the estate tax burden. If there is an estate tax imposed, PLDR can help executors and administrators wade through the complications of filing a federal estate tax return and dealing with the IRS.
Income taxes are imposed by the federal and state governments on individuals, entities, and estates and are often overlooked in the estate planning process. PLDR attorneys are familiar with the benefits of income tax planning for estates likely to be impacted by them.
Income taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, and generation-skipping transfer taxes are just some of the taxes imposed by the federal and state governments. Our attorneys can help guide you through the complexities of the tax code to ensure you are in compliance with all tax laws and taking advantage of every opportunity to legally lower your tax burden.
Administering and settling an estate can be an overwhelming process for those unfamiliar with the procedures involved. Among other duties, personal representatives, also known as executors or administrators, are required to manage a decedent’s estate, file tax returns, submit an inventory and accountings to the Commissioner of Accounts, pay debts, and make distributions as required by the decedent’s will or intestate succession laws. PLDR attorneys can guide personal representatives through the estate administration process all the way from qualification to final distribution.
At PLDR, we work to keep up-to-date on the issues and laws affecting these subject areas to make sure you are getting the best advice possible.