1307 Duke St Alexandria, VA 22314

Estate Planning Attorneys

Providing Exemplary Legal Services for 30 Years – Estate Planning Lawyers.

Estate Planning Services to Clients on Both Sides of the Potomac

We at Pirsch and Associates, PLLC provide estate planning services, including the preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney and other estate planning tools for families who want to incorporate estate and gift tax reduction and probate avoidance strategies into their estate plans. Our estate planning attorney relies on expertise built over 30 years of providing asset protection and estate planning to those in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Our estate planning practice can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan that addresses the transfer of your wealth and assets to the next generation, minimizes costs including tax liabilities and provides effective asset protection strategies. Many people make the mistake of procrastinating, which may end up increasing the cost or prohibiting certain options in terms of devising the best estate plan to fit your particular situation.

Elizabeth Pirsch has been providing sound legal advice and effective estate planning to individuals, families and businesses on both sides of the Potomac for almost 30 years. Whether you are considering preparing your own estate plan or assisting a family member in doing so, we will carefully review your assets and debts and discuss your estate planning objectives so that we can customize an estate plan to fit your individual needs.

Last Will and Testament

Many people understand that a will is a means to facilitate inter-generational transfers of property to your family, but a will may serve other functions. Wills are an effective way to designate who you want your children’s guardians to be if something were to happen to you. It can also be used as a tax reduction tool in certain situations. However, it is frequently the case that we will use other estate planning devices to avoid the negative consequences of probate, including increased cost, delay and additional administrative headaches.

Sometimes we can help you title ownership of an asset to circumvent the need for probate of those assets. Alternatively, we may prepare a living trust to avoid the need for probate. Conversely, if you hold assets that are titled in certain forms of joint ownership, it can create confusion if your will is prepared without considering the form of title to the asset so we review how all of your assets are titled to prevent conflict, confusion and disappointed expectations.

It is important to have the proper legal documents drafted to designate how your property will be transferred at the time of your death. Everyone, no matter how little they own, no matter if they are married or single, should have a will. A will should be in place even if a person has a living trust. Without a will, any property that is not held within the trust will be distributed according to state law not in accordance with your wishes. Wills should be reviewed on a regular basis because changes will occur in the law, tax code and your life that may affect your finances and your family.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney gives someone the legal right to make decisions on behalf of another person. Anyone of sound mind in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia can convey a power of attorney in writing. The person that is giving away the responsibility is known as the principal and the person who will be making the decisions is known as the agent or “attorney-in-fact.

A power of attorney is an essential part of an estate plan because it provides for uninterrupted decision-making should you be seriously injured or become gravely ill and unable to attend to your affairs. A power of attorney permits you to appoint someone you trust to make health care and/or financial decisions if you are unable to competently exercise such judgment based on injury or illness. A power of attorney for financial matters can be very broad and allow someone to virtually step into your shoes or can be very limited such as authorizing someone to sign a single contract on a specified day.

Our estate planning lawyers can discuss with you the scope of your power of attorney and make sure that the documents accurately reflect your intentions in terms of who you wish to act in your stead and the scope of the appointed representatives power to act and make binding decisions on your behalf. Elder abuse be it financial or otherwise is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue especially because many seniors require assistance or suffer from deteriorating mental capacity. A power of attorney can help protect you from this type of abuse by putting someone you trust in a position to make the important decisions that will affect your financial security and medical treatment.

Trusts

A revocable living trust can be a valuable tool to avoid probate of your estate leaving more of your estate for your family.

A trust is like a will in that someone you appoint will oversee distribution of your assets to those you designate, but a trust involves transferring assets to the estate now so that there is no need for probate. A properly created living trust can actually own, invest and transfer real and personal property because it is a separate legal entity like a corporation.

Living trusts have a few different purposes. They help you to avoid probate, minimize income and estate taxes, and protect your assets from personal creditors.

The person that creates the living trust is known as the grantor or trustor. The trustor then appoints a trustee, the person who manages the property according to the terms of the trust document. There must be at least one beneficiary as well. Gemerally, the grantor, trustee and beneficiary is the same person in the initial stages of the trust. A trust also has the advantage of privacy because it is not a matter of public record as the administration of a trust is performed outside of probate court.

Trusts can be revocable and irrevocable. The trustor can terminate a revocable trust at any time and repossess the trust property. To terminate an irrevocable trust in Virginia, the trustor must obtain approval either from a judge or permission from the trustee or all of the beneficiaries. Both types of these trusts help you to avoid probate but an irrevocable trust protects your property from creditors and minimizes taxes.

Medical Directives/Powers of Attorney for Health Care

Medical Directives and Powers of Attorney for Health Care allow you to appoint an agent to speak for you in the event that you cannot due to medical disability and memorialize your wishes as to medical treatment in the event of terminal illness or coma from which you are not expected to recover. Many individuals have very strong feeslings about how they wish to be treated in these circumstances but with expressing their wishes in writing, have no guarantee but their wishes will be carried out. We prepare these documents for our clients and help them complete them in accordance with their wishes.

There is a wide range of potential estate planning tools that we may incorporate into our client?s estate plan. We provide holistic estate planning solutions. With 30 years of experience, our knowledgeable estate planning attorney at Pirsch & Associates, PLLC provides estate planning strategies that impact your future health care and the financial security of you and your family. We invite you to schedule a confidential consultation at 703-548-5182

Our estate planning law attorneys serve the needs of clients in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. We accept all major credit cards and even offer flat fee rates in certain cases.

Visit Us At our offices:

Pirsch & Associates, PLLC
1307 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Telephone: 703-548-5182
Fax: 703-548-5659

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