Virginia Beach Probate & Estate Administration Attorneys
When Will Power is Not Enough®
If you have an estate plan that includes a will or a trust, then you need to appoint a person you trust to manage your affairs after you pass away. The person you choose for the will is called the executor, while the person you select for a trust is called a trustee. Both have a legal responsibility to administer your estate following both the terms of your legal document and the laws of the state.
What Responsibilities Do Executors Have?
If you have been designated as an executor, our probate and estate administration attorneys can guide you through the complex laws and help to ensure a smooth process for your loved one's estate.
Although administration can differ between a will and a trust, both generally involve:
- Paying Off the Decedent’s Final Bills
- Preparing Accountings
- Filing Tax Returns
- Distributing Assets to the Decedent’s Beneficiaries
Even when an estate doesn't need to go through probate, handling a loved one's estate or trust can be a daunting task. That is why you should consult a skilled attorney at TrustBuilders Law Group to review all of the fiduciary duties executors and trustees are responsible for, as well as breaches of duty that can lead to personal liability, family disharmony, or even civil and criminal penalties.
Estate Administration & Probate Services at our Firm
We offer the following probate and estate administration services to clients throughout Virginia Beach:
- Preparing State & Federal Fiduciary Tax Returns
- Preparing & Filing Fiduciary Income Tax Returns
- Maintaining Records & Reporting to Beneficiaries
- Collection of Debts Owed to the Estate
- Filing Accountings with the Commissioner of Accounts
- Appraising and Valuing Estate Assets
- Paying a Decedent’s Final Debts & Expenses
- Probate of the Last Will & Testament
- Qualifying as Executor or Administrator
- Preparing & Filing Trust Accountings
- Fund Family, Marital, & GST Trusts
- Distributing Trust Assets to Named Beneficiaries
- Preparing & Filing Federal Estate & Gift Tax Returns
Trust Administration Services for Trustees
Trust administration is necessary when the creator of a trust passes away or becomes incapacitated, leaving a designated trustee with the responsibility of carrying out the wishes of the trust. Unlike probate, which is a public and court-supervised process, trust administration is more private and efficient. If you are a trustee who has been tasked with administering a trust, we can assist with all the details.
We can handle all matters relating to trust administration, including:
- Reviewing all trust documents, including the will, distribution plan, assets, real property records, etc.
- Notifying beneficiaries and heirs to the trust
- Handling all accounting and financial matters, such as setting up the necessary bank accounts, paying taxes and distributing funds according to the trust
- Mediating disputes between family members and beneficiaries
The trust administration process can be complex due to the many details involved and the potential for disputes. TrustBuilders Law Group is prepared to protect you through the process with efficient and effective representation.
How Long Does the Probate Process Take in Virginia?
The time commitment for probate can vary depending on the size and how complex the estate of the deceased is. In general, it can take anywhere from six month to a year, or possibly more if there are complications or family disputes that arise during the process.
Since the probate process can be extremely time-consuming and stressful, it can be beneficial to secure the help of an attorney who can take the reins and handle the process for you.
Does All Property Go Through Probate?
Not all property is required to go through the probate process. "Nonprobate" property can be transferred to the beneficiaries without probate, and can include assets such as jointly owned assets, assets with a designated beneficiary outside the will, assets in a revocable living trust, and life insurance proceeds payable to a beneficiary.
Additionally, if the estate is valued at less than $50,000 then probate is not typically required.
How to Avoid Probate in Virginia?
It is possible to avoid probate in Virginia for the assets you own (vehicles, bank accounts, etc.). To do so, you can create a trust document. With a trust document you can name someone to be the trustee after your death. Then, the trustee can transfer your assets to your beneficiaries without going through probate.
Dedicated to Protecting Your Interests
When clients choose TrustBuilders Law Group, they get a team of dedicated and reliable legal professionals that they can count on to represent their best interests. We take great pride in our ability to combine a holistic, client-centered approach with the latest in drafting and analytics to generate a comprehensive planning experience. Our needs-based philosophy combined with our proven six-step planning process ensures that our clients receive the tailored legal solutions they need to feel confident about the future.
A Family Name That You Can Trust
The Buxton Family has been serving greater Hampton Roads in law or medicine for over 100 years. We are a 5th generation family committed to supporting the local community. Let our family legacy help build your family legacy.
A Price You Can Afford
TrustBuilders Law Group takes pride in offering modern estate planning at affordable prices. Our plans are prepared at a competitive, value-based flat-fee so you will never have to worry about hourly rates surprise bills.
A Staff With Experience and Credentials
TrustBuilders Law Group has one of the most experienced legal teams in the area. In addition to over 100 years of combined experience, we are the only firm in Hampton Roads with both a Master of Laws in estate planning and Certified Elder Law Attorney on staff.
A Plan With Your Goals in Mind
TrustBuilders Law Group specializes in creating custom estate plans that focus on your wealth preservations goals. Unlike many boilerplates seen in the marketplace, our documents are state specific, tailored to your needs and contain cutting-edge solutions.