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Estate Planning II

Preparing for your Pet’s Future Without You
Companion  pets are popular in Northern Virginia.  Close to 90% of pet owners view their animals as family members. But less than 25% have included their pets in their estate plan. After the owners death, pets without a plan are often destroyed. 

Recent Virginia law allows for a trust to be created for the care of a designated domestic or pet animal, which is legally enforceable and fair to the family.

Joint Tenancy
The IED of Married Couples

Many married couples have all assets joint with right of survivorship. Upon one owner's death; his or her share of the asset passes to the remaining owner(s).

While there are advantages to joint ownership, there are many pitfalls to keep in mind. Unintended consequences abound to end up with yoru children disinherited or you home being sold to satisfy your adult child's debt.  Students will learn how to see this IED, and avoid its explosion.

Beneficiary Designations
 The Hidden Trap 

Key assets, insurance, retirement and annuities pass by beneficiary designation. Despite methodical estate planning, many families will un-intentionally disinherit loved ones or have an un-necessary probate often triggered due to failure to integrate and coordinate the beneficiary designations. This in depth course will also address how to properly title a beneficiary designation 

Special Needs Trusts
for Special People

10% of our population copes with special needs that exist because of a disability, such as Autism, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury and a variety of mental illnesses. Planning to protect loved ones from conservatorship, probate, and avoid loss of government benefits will be presented in this practical course on the “ins and outs of special needs planning.

Blood Line Estate Planning for Your Children, Grand Children

Many smart parents employ some form of estate planning, most commonly with trusts. However, the manner in which the trust is structured can greatly affect whether your dispositive wishes are fulfilled. Without proper planning, circumstances such as a child's divorce or financial irresponsibility can result in unintended beneficiaries of your hard-earned assets. 
Non-Citizen Spouses
Dual Citizen Estate Planning

Married couples in which one spouse is a non-citizen are treated differently than married couples where both spouses are U.S. citizens. 

Generally, assets that pass between spouses at the first death are free from estate taxes due to the Unlimited Marital Deduction, no matter how large the estate. However, where the surviving spouse is a resident non-citizen, the Unlimited 

Planning for Un-Married Couples 

Over 50% of couples that live together in the Unitied States are unmarried, You will learn, amongh  other things  'how to" 
  • provide for the support of the surving partner
  • manage 'divorce' support and the forced, fire sale of the house
  • limit tax liabilities at death
  • protect the survivng partner's assets from the deceased partner's debts
This  course addresses the estate planning for young professionals as wells as older adults who believe 'living together' solves problems and makes life easier. In fact unmarried couples, irrespective of sexual orientation, have none of the rights of a married couples. One can be denied visitation to a sick partner, pay shocking taxes at the first to die, and find one owns the house with the deceased partners's parents. Planning ahead is more, not less, important for an unmarried couple. Key strategies will be explored and an actual property document will be distributed in class for  unmarried couples. Learn about some of the the newest developments in the  law--

President Obama 's Healthcare Rights   

Memo For Unmarried Couples [April 2010] states that....


"...individuals designated by legally valid advance directives (such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies),should enjoy visitation privileges [and the right to make informed decisions regarding patient's care and]...not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability..."