ESTATE PLANNING
 

ESTATE PLANNING

An Estate Plan should protect yourself first, then your loved ones.

We advise clients to view an estate plan as a contingency plan because, whether for convenience or in an emergency, a client could one day need the help of another person. For example, sometime the client might need a representative in a financial or legal matter or during an illness or injury. An estate plan should address these situations, and, therefore, protect the client during his or her lifetime. This can be accomplished by a durable power of attorney, advance medical directive, and a revocable trust.

 

Everyone should have an estate plan,
regardless of age, health, or wealth.

 

Additionally, of course, an estate plan should fulfill the client's wishes at the end of life by identifying who would inherit and who would oversee the inheritance process. Further, we can help clients create an estate plan which helps their loved ones avoid bureaucracy, minimize legal fees, and protect privacy. A complete estate plan begins with a last will and testament, and we help our clients determine if a revocable trust (also known as a living trust) could best address their goals and circumstances.

 

We help clients avoid bureaucracy,
minimize legal expenses, protect privacy.

 

Are you already a client?

If you have already received and signed an engagement letter from Bergstrom Attorneys, you may begin the estate planning process by completing our online questionnaire. Otherwise, contact us to learn more about our services.

 

ESTATE PLANNING QUESTIONNAIRE

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Personal Representative: In your Last Will and Testament, you will appoint a personal representative to be responsible for the administration and settlement of your estate. Provide the agent’s full legal name and relationship to you. You may name your spouse/partner, but it is very important to name one to two backups in rank order in case something happens to both of you. The person would serve as Personal Representative individually in rank order starting with the first person you identify below.

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Funeral: Please indicate your preferences (burial, cremation, religious services, memorial, etc.), if any.
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Please list each child, living or deceased. Indicate whether a child is adopted or from a prior marriage, etc.

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Guardian for Children Under Age 18: If you have a child under age 18, name a guardian, other than your spouse/partner, who will have the legal authority and duty to protect your child’s personal and property interests in the absence of both parents. We recommend you and your spouse/partner choose the same guardian(s).

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Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA): In this document, you would name an agent, who will make financial decisions on your behalf (e.g., cashing checks, paying bills, etc.) if you are unable to do so. Please provide the full legal name of your agent. You may name your spouse/partner, but it is very important to name one to two backups in rank order in case something happens to both of you. Person(s) would serve as your DPOA Agent individually in rank order starting with the first person you identify below.

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Advance Medical Directive (AMD): In this document, you will appoint your agent(s) who may receive your confidential health information and make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. You may appoint your spouse/partner, but it is very important to name one to two backups. Person(s) would serve as your AMD agent individually in rank order starting with the first person you identify below.

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Revocable Trust Agreement: Unlike a will, a trust may distribute your assets privately and efficiently without the need for a public probate court process, and, unlike a will, a trust could hold assets for your care while you’re incapacitated. If you wish to create a revocable trust, you would serve as the initial trustee to manage the trust. You would name one or more ‘successor trustees’ who would manage the trust for your benefit. Upon your death, the trustee succeeding you would distribute the trust assets according your trust. Please provide the full legal name of each successor trustee and his/her relationship to you. For a couple, you may name each other as your successor trustees, but it is important that you name backups in rank order in case something happens to both of you. Successor trustees would succeed you individually in rank order starting with the first person you identify below.

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Distribution of Your Estate: In the space provided below, identify each person you wish to inherit from you and the percentage of your total estate each person is to receive for a combined total of 100%. For a couple, you might want your surviving partner to inherit 100%, and if your partner does not survive you, your children or others would inherit in equal shares. We will assume you wish distributions to be per stirpes so that if a person predeceases you, that person’s share would be subdivided by his/her own heirs. For example, “100% to spouse, then to my two children in equal amounts, per stirpes.” You may indicate that your plan should match the distributions on your partner’s questionnaire.

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To make a gift to a charity, obtain the charity’s own language for bequests to make in your estate plan. In the space below, provide this information and details of the charitable gift:
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Trustee of Child’s Trust: If any person to inherit from you is now under age 18, you may name a trustee who will manage a trust for that child and later distribute the inheritance at adulthood. Do NOT name your spouse/partner, if any. The person(s) you identify would serve as the Child’s Trustee individually in rank order starting with the first person you identify below.

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Distributions from Child’s Trust: If your estate includes a child’s trust, we will assume that trustee should have the authority to use trust assets for a child-beneficiary’s health, education, maintenance, and support. Please specify at what age the trust assets would become the property of such a beneficiary. You might prefer a gradual process. For example, the child’s trust could distribute 25% of the assets to the beneficiary at age 25, then the rest at age 30. You may indicate that your plan should match the plan already provided on the questionnaire of your partner/spouse.
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Asset Summary:

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Instructions: Check all that apply. Provide approximate values. Specify who owns the ownership of each asset (self, spouse/partner, joint).
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If you wish to create a trust to own this real property, we will need a copy of the deed. See instructions at the end of this questionnaire.
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If you wish to create a trust to own this real property, we will need a copy of the deed. See instructions at the end of this questionnaire.

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If you wish to create a trust to own this real property, we will need a copy of the deed. See instructions at the end of this questionnaire.

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Please note, our estate planning services are not for estates greater than $4 million per person.

Client Certification: I have provided accurate and complete information to enable Bergstrom Attorneys PLLC to achieve my goals for my estate planI understand additional fees could apply to services beyond the scope of my Engagement Letter. I understand the remaining balance of my fees, if any, will be due 30 days after delivery of my draft documents, or at appointment to sign my documents if sooner.

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Next Steps: We will use this questionnaire to draft your estate planning documents. We will address questions by email you or in a scheduled teleconference. We will provide a draft of your documents to review, after which we will address questions by email or phone. Finally, we will schedule an office appointment to provide final instructions and to sign your documents. Deeds to Real Estate: If you wish assign real estate to a new trust, please email us a copy of the deed. The deed is the document that is dated the day you purchased and closed on your home. The first paragraph of your deed will identify the seller(s) and your name(s) as buyer. The deed will be signed by the seller(s) on the last page. Please note, the deed is not the “Deed of Trust” that was prepared by your lender for your mortgage. If your deed is missing, you may obtain a copy from your county’s Land Records office.

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Bergstrom Attorneys Office Locations:

line

10521 Judicial Drive, Suite 200
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
(Send Mail/Packages to Fairfax)

 

3033 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 700
Arlington, Virginia 22201
(Clarendon Metro)

 
 
 
 

 

 
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