Frequently Asked Questions about Estate Planning Law in Alexandria

Estate Planning law in Alexandria - FAQs

Some frequently asked questions about Alexandria estate planning laws

What is a trust?
A trust is a legal agreement through which one entity, a trustee, holds the legal authority to property for another person, a beneficiary. The instructions that control the actions of the trustee are detailed in the trust agreement. You assign your heirs in the trust document. Depending on your circumstances, you can include a stipulation that enables you to amend or revoke the trust at your will.

What are some advantages of having a trust?
The best-known advantage of having a trust is avoiding probate. In a trust that terminates with the death of the donor, any property in the trust prior to the death of the creator of the trust can pass immediately to the beneficiaries by the terms of the trust without requiring probate. This can save time and money for the beneficiaries, as well as eliminate unnecessary stress and squabbling.

Certain trusts can also result in tax advantages both for the donor and the beneficiary. Other trusts may be used to protect property from creditors or to help the donor qualify for Medicaid. Provided they are well-drafted, another advantage of trusts is the fact that they have a continuing effectiveness even if the donor dies or becomes incapacitated.

There are many kinds of trusts, but the most common is one you would set up for your minor children or incapacitated adult relatives for their care after you are gone and until they are old enough or well enough to take care of themselves.

What is probate?
Probate is the process by which the property of a deceased person, known as the estate is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will). The entire process is supervised by the probate court and it can be lengthy.

An attorney skilled in Alexandria estate planning law can help

For the good of your family, and for your peace of mind, you need to plan ahead for the division of your assets for when you are no longer around. A good estate planner in Alexandria can minimize your expenses associated with such a plan and maximize what passes to your heirs. Contact an experienced estate planner at Richard A. Dezio, P.C. for advice on all aspects of estate planning laws in Alexandria.