Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia Estate Planning Attorney
Protecting Your Assets
At Clark & Associates, our D.C., Maryland, and Virginia estate-planning attorneys will evaluate your situation, review the alternatives, and structure your estate to protect your assets. We will create the necessary documents and will represent your interests in any dispute.
Proper estate planning requires a thorough understanding of a client and his or her beneficiaries, their personal styles, capabilities, needs, and financial objectives. We will use that knowledge to design an estate-planning strategy to meet those goals.
Wills direct your personal representative and the probate court in the distribution of your assets according to your wishes. If you do not have a Will when you die, you will be considered "intestate," and your estate will be distributed according to state law.
Our firm can assist you in drafting your Will along with any supporting documents you may need. We can ensure that your Will meets the applicable rules of construction in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C.
Since many of our clients own small businesses (or may be substantial shareholders of larger businesses), investment real estate, and stock options, counseling on estate planning may involve use of many different planning devices. Some of these vehicles include the use of entities to assist in management and transfer of ownership, which, as a side benefit, may result in the reduction in value of the taxable estate; buy-sell agreements in closely-held businesses to ease the transition to the successors; gifting programs to reduce estate tax; and recommendations on the disposition of retirement benefits to maximize their effectiveness.
Our Virginia estate-planning attorneys can help draft and implement all kinds of trusts designed to protect your assets, including living, or inter vivos trusts, family limited partnerships, special needs trusts, business affair trusts, charitable remainder trusts, trusts for a minor child, irrevocable trusts, generation skipping trusts, and life insurance trusts.
Our firm can also help you ensure your health care desires are carried out if you are ever rendered incapacitated, either through an advance medical directive (Living Will) or by designating somebody you trust as a health care power of attorney.
Our firm can draft financial powers of attorney for you in the event that you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage your financial affairs. We can help you appoint someone to look after your financial affairs if you are unable to do so.
Life Insurance and retirement benefits are payable to a designated beneficiary. Your Will will not govern these benefits unless they are paid to your estate. Retirement benefits require special care as the rules governing these benefits are quite complex.
For questions or to speak to an estate planning attorney, contact Clark & Associates today.