Category:Estate Planning


Leaving Real Estate in Your Will in Virginia

Posted on March 21st, 2017, by Carolyn Eaton in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law. No Comments

How you hold title to your real estate (real property) may have an impact on whether or not it can be left to someone in your will. When having a will drafted and considering who you want your real property to pass to upon your death, it is important to know how title to your real property is held. It is also important that you provide your attorney with the title or deed of trust for each piece of real property that you own so that it can be properly addressed in your will.

Title refers to legal ownership and the right to use property. There are several forms of ownership of real property in Virginia, including:

Sole ownership. Title to real property held in the name of one person is sole ownership. The person who is the sole owner of the property … Read More »


Power of Attorney for Care and Custody of Children in Virginia

Posted on March 8th, 2017, by Sarah Collins in Custody, Estate Planning. No Comments

A written agreement between parents or a court order regarding custody and visitation are the most common methods by which custody and visitation are determined between parents who are no longer together. However, in the event that one parent will be absent from the country, a power of attorney may be an appropriate means of giving someone who is not a custodian or guardian of your children the ability to act on your behalf during their absence.

Virginia law provides for children’s enrollment in school when living with relatives who are not their parents, by use of special “kinship care arrangements.”

Virginia also allows military families to have a power of attorney regarding the care of minor children, by recognizing the military power of attorney instrument provided in 10 U.S.C. § 1044(b). See Virginia Code § 64.2-1604 and the Interstate Compact on … Read More »


Four Financial Steps to Take Before Divorce

Posted on January 24th, 2017, by Brianna Salerno in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law. No Comments

Divorce is an emotional and overwhelming time in a person’s life. If you do not enter the divorce with the necessary financial information, the process may be even more overwhelming than anticipated. By taking certain actions at the start of the divorce process, you can protect yourself from future surprises, and potentially avoid a great deal of stress later on. Here are four financial steps you should consider taking before divorce:

1. Obtain Financial Documents

If you do not keep good financial records or have limited to no access to your financial documents, now would be the time to gather and retain copies of these documents. These documents should include: tax returns, checking, savings, and bank statements; investment statements, retirement account statements, and other documents that address any sources of your or your spouse’s income. Try to gather all of these financial documents for the last three to … Read More »


Elective Shares in Virginia: Can Your Spouse Disinherit You?

Posted on November 16th, 2016, by Sarah Collins in Divorce, Estate Planning, Family Law. No Comments

Are you separated from your spouse, or otherwise undergoing marital difficulties? If so, you may find yourself wondering whether your spouse can disinherit you. In Virginia, the short answer is no. Virginia law protects surviving spouses from being disinherited by allowing the surviving spouse to claim an “elective share” of the decedent’s estate if the decedent died without a will, if the spouse is omitted from the will, and even if the decedent explicitly disinherited the surviving spouse in the will. The right to an elective share continues even where the parties are separated or pending divorce, until a divorce is final.

What Are You Entitled to Under the Elective Share?

The answer to this question is going to change for decedents dying on or after January 1, 2017, based on some 2016 revisions to the Virginia Code.

For decedents dying before January … Read More »


Seven Things You Should Know About Powers of Attorney in Virginia

Posted on November 15th, 2016, by Carolyn Eaton in Estate Planning. No Comments

Powers of attorney are valuable tools for managing your business and personal affairs, and health care. If you are considering one, here are seven things you should know about powers of attorney in Virginia:

1. What Is a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you (the “principal”) to appoint someone (the “agent”) to act on your behalf. A limited power of attorney contains language that restricts the agent’s authority to a specified act or specified period of time. A general power of attorney is effective upon signing and gives the agent authority to do anything you could do for yourself, but it is no longer effective if you become incapacitated. A springing power of attorney (also called a conditional power of attorney) becomes effective if and when you become incapacitated; it can also be … Read More »


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