Virginia Probate – Estate and Gift Taxes

By Attorney Jennifer Kahl September 19, 2019 Many people are concerned about the potential of the “estate tax.” However, the vast majority of estates will not owe any estate tax. The Unified Tax Credit The Unified Tax Credit is the amount that each person can gift before he or she will owe any tax. This amount includes gifts that are …

BEWARE OF SCAMS!

By Attorney Robert T. Brooks      August 21, 2019 In the last 2 days I have personally received mail from a scam group and had two clients tell me about scam phone calls they have received.  In today’s world you must be suspicious of almost every piece of mail, email, or call you receive. It only takes a minute for a …

Virginia Probate: Shortcuts for Small Estates

By Attorney Jennifer Kahl, August 19, 2019 When a person dies, the first step in the administration of the estate is the calculation of the probate estate. Depending on the size of the probate estate, you may be able to avoid opening a formal probate estate. Virginia law has some options that can help you administer smaller estates without the …

Legal Answers vs. Practical Answers

BY ATTORNEY SUSAN I. JEAN August 16, 2019 When discussing medical decision-making, I often explain to clients that there are situations where the legal answer is not the way things actually work.  A classic example is end of life decision-making.  Imagine that Hazel is 89 years old and is in a coma in the hospital.  She (very smartly) has signed an …

Virginia Probate – Inheriting Real Estate

By Attorney Jennifer Kahl, August 12, 2019 What happens to real estate in Virginia when someone dies? It depends on how the real estate was titled and whether the person had a will. The titling of real estate If a person owns real estate as tenants by the entirety or as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the real estate …

Why am I left in the waiting room?

BY ATTORNEY SUSAN I. JEAN July 19, 2019 It is common that family members will come with a loved one to a legal consultation.  Attorneys are scary (no, not really), the situation is concerning, you want to be sure your loved one correctly explains the situation and remembers the answers.  But at some point, you will be asked to step out …

Virginia Probate – The Laws of Intestacy

By Attorney Jennifer Kahl, July 16, 2019 What happens when a person dies without a Last Will and Testament? This is called dying “intestate.” The distribution of such an estate is governed by the Virginia’s laws of intestacy. What property is subject to the intestacy laws? First, property that owned in joint tenancy with another living person passes to the …

Virginia Probate – Do I Have to Refinance the House When the Owner Dies?

By Attorney Jennifer Kahl, July 9, 2019 If you have inherited real estate from a person who died, you may be wondering if you have to refinance the mortgage. Often, the mortgager will lead you to believe that you must. However, this is not usually the case. The “due on transfer clause” Most mortgages have a rule that, if the …

WHO SHOULD MANAGE YOUR FUNDS?

By Attorney Robert T. Brooks July 3, 2019 Who should manage your funds?  The answer is simple… it should be you or a responsible individual/entity of your choosing.  I recently drafted a Trust and other estate planning documents for a client.  Per my instructions she was trying to retitle certain assets into the name of the Trust.  Unfortunately, one of …

When is “Just Walk Away” good legal advice?

BY ATTORNEY SUSAN I. JEAN June 28, 2019 As an attorney my job usually is giving advice of what should be done.  But sometimes my best advice is to just walk away from a situation.  I met with a potential client recently.  She is very upbeat and funny, and on hospice as a result of her cancer.  She has been on …