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You’re ‘Rich Enough’ for an Estate Plan

Old willsWe believe that estate planning isn't necessarily about how much money you have; it's about reducing the burdens on your heirs. The real focus of an estate plan should be to help ensure that your assets are distributed in precisely the manner you wish. 

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press recently published an article, titled “Your money: Wealthy or not, you need an estate plan,” which emphasized that everybody is in need of an estate plan and provides a few tips to consider: 

1. There’s More to Estate Planning than Just a Will. The article reminds us that a will isn’t all that is needed to make your wishes known to your family and friends. Rather, it’s part of a thorough and well-thought-out estate plan. Your estate planning attorney can help you with other pieces, such as powers of attorney, health care directives, life insurance policy beneficiary designations, and trusts. An estate planning attorney is key to making sure you have everything covered, up-to-date, and in compliance with the law. 

2. Take Time to Consider a Personal Representative. If you pass away without naming a personal representative or an executor, the court will appoint an individual tasked with distributing your assets. But if you name one, you can discuss this responsibility with them now, so that you answer all of his or her questions and you are confident that they can do the job. 

3. Create a Will or Let a Judge Give Away Your Estate. Remember that without a will, the assets in your estate will distributed by a probate judge according to the state probate process, which is not only expensive, but takes months and sometimes years to complete. There may be avoidable taxes that you could have dealt with in a will, as well as the opportunity to choose who gets what. 

4. Don’t Let Your Estate Plan Grow Moss! The article advises you to review your estate plan on a regular basis, like every couple of years. Also, talk with your estate planning attorney if you experience some sort of major life event, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, a death in the family or of one of your heirs, marriage or divorce, or a move to a different state. 

A qualified estate planning attorney will have the experience to assist you with other strategies to lower your tax liability and the expenses of probate. This will give you and your family peace of mind and prevent some of the stress that will happen at your passing.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in 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.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.   

Reference: Saint Paul Pioneer Press (June 28, 2015) “Your money: Wealthy or not, you need an estate plan”

 

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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.