Efficient Virginia Trusts and Estates Attorney
With 26 years of experience, the Law Office of John T. Donelan possesses in-depth knowledge about all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
- Estate tax issues
- Executorship duties
- Living wills
- Living trusts
- Probate and will disputes
- Will drafting and execution
The Law Office of John T. Donelan can advise you on the best approach to your estate planning. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.We can draft a will that reflects your desires and establish living trusts, if beneficial to your estate. A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your will provides you with the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to somebody besides a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your beloved pet — decisions that might not reflect your desires.
The Law Office of John T. Donelan can draft a valid will that ensures your intentions are honored.
Changing your will
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. The Law Office of John T. Donelan drafts valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.
Appointment of guardianship
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care, especially crucial if you are a single parent or if both parents die in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian for your children and can make decisions adverse to your ultimate parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets’ care in your will, including naming a guardian who will take responsibility for your pets.
The Law Office of John T. Donelan helps people create trusts to ensure that their assets are properly managed and held for the future use of their family members or designated beneficiaries.The assets held by a trust can be used to pay for necessary medical, educational and health-related expenses for the trust’s beneficiaries. Because a trust is designed to exist for a certain period of time, the courts require that a trustee be chosen to administer and be responsible for the management of the trust. A trust may be included in your will or set up as a separate legal entity. Sometimes trusts are used to avoid the probate process or to minimize estate and income taxes.
We apply our extensive knowledge about the Virginia probate court to guide you through the complex process of probating a will. We assist executors in all steps of the process, including:
- Creating a plan of action to probate the estate fairly and expeditiously
- Filing the will with the Virginia probate court
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Valuating the estate
- Managing and liquidating assets as appropriate
- Paying taxes and other debts
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring professionals and experts when necessary
When disputes occur between beneficiaries, we successfully represent your interests. We have the extensive knowledge to challenge invalid wills or to defend valid wills against the improper assertions of dissatisfied beneficiaries. Skilled in mediation and litigation, we can negotiate between beneficiaries to preserve relationships or diligently pursue your rights in court when necessary.
Contact a meticulous estate planning lawyer
Call the Law Office of John T. Donelan at 703-684-7555 or contact the firm online to schedule a free initial consultation.