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Great Tips for Successful Estate Plans in Virginia

Practical pointersEveryone likes practical pointers. Here are more than eight, but fewer than ten practical estate planning pointers for your consideration.

1.    Keep your important documents like your will or trust up-to-date. Keep your legal residence address, marriage status, children, guardian list, etc. updated.

2.    Keep track of beneficiaries for all of your IRAs, qualified plans and insurance policies. If you don't, they may be going to someone you no longer wish to receive them.

3.    Maximize the liquidity of your estate. Liquidity is defined as the ability to quickly turn assets into cash. Without sufficient cash to pay taxes, funeral, and other expenses, your family may have to sell illiquid assets – such as a family business or other property – at an inopportune time.

4.    Maintain an appropriate mix of investment risk. Over time, more risky investments like stocks and mutual funds should be moved into safe and stable investments such as annuities.

5.    Name a dependable executor and/or trustee. Executors are called upon to collect assets, pay obligations, and distribute your assets. Your trustee must enforce all the provisions of any trusts you created. Choose people who have the knowledge, integrity and stamina in the face of pressure from family members to fulfill these obligations.

6.    f you have minor children, consider naming one guardian for your minor children and a separate guardian for the property you've left to support them. The best guardian for your children may not be the most effective money manager you know.

7.    Estate planning for your spouse. If your net worth is high enough, your estate may be subject to taxes. A simple estate plan can potentially save your loved ones hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes.

8.    Leaving the right assets to the right people. Make sure proper financial management systems are in place for people such as special needs children, teenagers, or other dependents.

9.    Plan, plan, plan. While estate planning is important for everyone, it is most important for business owners, who must plan for the succession and/or buyout of their business.

This is just a quick review of issues that should be addressed by you and your attorney when creating your estate plan. Remember, every situation is different and your estate plan is not going to look exactly like your neighbor’s estate plan. It is always best to contact an experienced estate planning attorney to assist you with all of your estate planning options.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Williamsburg, Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.