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Virginia Estate Planning Lawyers

estate planning lawyer in CharlottesvilleEstate planning always seems like something to get done “later;” when you reach a certain age, or you have children, or once you own an established business – or any number of reasons you might give yourself to avoid thinking about a future without you in it. But the truth is, careful estate planning is essential now because no one can predict what tomorrow holds in store for any of us.

Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz provides comprehensive estate planning services to Central Virginia individuals, families, and business owners. Our attorneys help you with estate plans ranging from the simple to the complex now so that you can live your life to the fullest with peace of mind heading into the future.

Where We Can Help With Your Virginia Estate Planning Needs

Estate planning is often more complicated than simply drafting a will. Many estates will include real property, retirement plans, life insurance policies, trust funds, businesses and business assets, pending inheritances, and other properties or assets to be distributed to your chosen beneficiaries. Our estate planning lawyers are competent in ensuring your assets are distributed according to your precise wishes with minimum delay and understand the art of minimizing estate taxes.

A key concern of aging, however tough to consider, is making plans for incapacity. Our law firm can help you navigate the difficult choices of determining your financial and medical decisions in the event you are unable to do it yourself. We compassionately assist clients in preparing for illness and old age through the use of the proper legal instruments.

Our Central Virginia estate planning practice encompasses all aspects of a simple or complex estate, including:

Wills

A will is a foundational estate planning document. For most people, a standardized will is not the best option. We recommend that every adult have a customized document that protects their particular interests. When we professionally draft your will, you can use it to name heirs and a guardian for a minor child, distribute assets, and appoint an estate administrator. Our Virginia estate planning attorneys have the knowledge and skills to help you create a last will and testament that suits your unique needs and protects your interests.

Trusts

As vital as it is for every adult to create a will, it’s not always the best estate planning tool to transfer assets to your beneficiaries. In some cases, various types of trusts can be used for this purpose. When established and administered properly, trusts can give you privacy, flexibility, and an efficient way to transfer assets and wealth. They can also help you avoid Virginia’s probate process. Depending on your particular needs and goals, some of the types of trusts you can establish include revocable living trusts, special needs trusts, testamentary trusts, and charitable trusts.

Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney allows another person to act on your behalf legally. While the idea of handing over this type of power might be uncomfortable for many people to think about, it’s essential that you have the right legal structure in place to allow a trusted person to make important financial and medical decisions for you should you no longer be capable of handling those matters on your own. Depending on your circumstances and needs, we can help you create a Medical Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney.

Advanced Directives

An estate plan isn’t complete if it doesn’t address the important issue of incapacity. Your Powers of Attorney can do this to some extent, but it’s also essential to have some advance directives in place.

Often called “living wills,” advance medical directives detail precisely how you wish to be cared for if you are unable to voice those choices due to incapacity. For example, you can state that you do not wish to be placed on life support.

Guardianships

If you have minor children or adult children who are unable to care for themselves, you and your spouse (if applicable) should name a guardian. This ensures that, in the worst-case scenario where neither parent is available to care for the children, someone you know and trust will be there to give them the care and protection they need. While the Virginia courts will have to name an official guardian, most judges will follow the parent’s choice as set out in their estate plan.

Succession and Business Planning

Roughly 90 percent of this country’s businesses are either family-owned or family-controlled. They come in all sizes and shapes, representing every sector of our economy. When you’ve spent years building a brand and a business, you want to ensure that it continues to be a success, even after you’re gone, whether through sale, retirement, liquidation, or death.

Depending on the size and structure of your business, succession planning can help you protect shareholder value, choose new leaders, or even divide up the ownership of your company according to your wishes.

Revising Your Estate Plan

Estate planning is rarely a one-and-done activity. It’s always advisable to revisit and update your estate plan every few years or after every major life event. We help clients maintain meaningful estate plans that take into account various life changes such as divorce, remarriage, major moves, changes in income, new children, and more.

Protecting Digital Assets

As our digital lives continue to expand, digital assets are taking a bigger role in estate planning. Every type of digital asset can have some value, even if it isn’t monetary in nature. David Toscano has worked on legislation regarding the protection of digital assets during the last General Assembly session. Our firm is happy to advise clients on how to best address their digital assets in a comprehensive estate plan.

Get Help From Our Charlottesville Estate Planning Attorneys Today

At Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, our Central Virginia estate planning law firm is committed to providing fully personalized, attentive legal guidance to clients. We will help you and your loved ones find stability, security, and peace of mind through comprehensive estate planning.

Our firm serves clients throughout Albemarle, Culpepper, Green, Madison, Buckingham, Nelson, Augusta, and Louisa counties. We offer weekend and evening meetings at your convenience. Call us today at (434) 977-7977 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

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