InSight Law On the Cutting Edge of Estate Planning

During the past few months, InSight Law focused on technology to provide better and more efficient service options to our clients. Below is a summary and review of several of our new technology options: Actionstep Portal: The firm has switched customer relationship management systems to Actionstep. They offer a client portal using Amazon Web Services infrastructure to provide a secure storage and exchange of documents between individual users and the firm. This allows clients the option of going “paperless” and reduces the need for mailing paper copies of documents and updates. The paperless option includes electronic copies of your Asset Review...

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Should You Opt for a “Green Burial”?

When the word “burial” is mentioned, a common image conjured by most people is a coffin being lowered into a burial plot. However, you may not realize that many coffins are actually quite harmful to the environment. Why? Because coffins are often manufactured using chemicals and non-biodegradable material. Roughly one million pounds of metal, wood and concrete are put into the ground each year to separate bodies from the surrounding earth. In addition, embalming fluid, made up of formaldehyde and rubbing alcohol, is considered a Class 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and can seep into the ground and affect...

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Own a Technology Business in Virginia? Take Advantage of a Little Known Capital Gains Tax Exemption

Starting and managing a business is challenging, especially in the highly competitive technology sector. You have to ensure your product or service is on the cutting edge, while also juggling regulatory requirements and staying up-to-date with business taxes. Fortunately, the Commonwealth is taking some of the burden off your shoulders through the state tax code. Entrepreneurs and investors who make qualified investments in early-stage technology, biotechnology and energy startups in Virginia through 2020, can seek exemption from paying state income tax on their long-term capital gains throughout the life of the investment, according to the Northern Virginia Technology Council. This exemption was...

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Why Advanced Care Planning is Absolutely Critical

It’s a discussion most of us dread - what should happen if we are unable to make decisions about our medical care. This is an issue that arises quite often. If you suddenly suffer a stroke, a heart attack, or other debilitating condition resulting in you being incapacitated, someone will need to step in and decide what to do. This is why advance care planning is so important. It puts you in the driver’s seat for your medical decisions. Advance Care Planning enables you to designate someone (e.g., a close friend, a family member, your spouse, etc.) to make important medical decisions...

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Why Your Estate Plan Needs to Include Your Pets

When designing an estate plan, many individuals forget to include provisions for the care of their beloved pets.  Approximately 63% of all households own at least one pet, yet less than 20% of pet owners included their pets in their estate plan. Quite often, we meet with prospective clients that have never been asked by other attorneys about including pets in their plan.  For many people, their pets are considered important members of the family.  Having the pet end up at a shelter or with an uncertain future is a pet owner’s worst nightmare. Planning for the care of your pets...

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Concerned About Costly Nursing Homes? “Granny Pods” May Be an Option to Consider

The median annual cost of a private nursing home is over roughly $84,000 per year, according to CNN.com. A 2013 survey by Genworth revealed that the cost of private nursing home care spiked 24 percent in a five-year period (2008 to 2013). Given the exorbitant cost of nursing home care, many people are struggling to figure out what to do with an elderly loved one who is living alone, and shouldn’t be at that stage of their life. Some people may be thinking, “Well, what about a semi-private nursing home where your loved one shares a room?” Unfortunately, this arrangement is...

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New Year’s Resolution – Review Your Estate Plan

With a new year comes resolutions. Some people may plan to get into better shape. Some people may plan to get out of credit card debt. But everyone should make a resolution to review their estate planning documents. To help get you started, we put together a brief checklist of topics and issues you and your loved ones need to review in your estate plan. You should make this a yearly habit. That is why, at InSight Law, we have a formal maintenance plan for all of our clients to update their estate plans and make adjustments as events in our their...

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Three Key Estate Planning Strategies You Can’t Overlook

A great estate plan requires periodic updating, extensive analysis, and following these three important strategies. “Stress Test” Your Estate Plan Through Various Scenarios One of the best ways to determine your plan is thorough and ready for virtually any scenario is to actually test it out in a variety of hypotheticals. What will happen if you suddenly become incapacitated? What will happen if your child, or children, pre-decease you? What rights, if any, will your child’s ex-spouse have to your estate’s assets? Putting your estate plan through these “stress” variables should not stress you out! Our view is going through these scenarios...

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Do or Don’t – Donor Advised Funds

With the holiday season upon us, many people want to find the best way to give back and donate to charitable causes. A method for giving that is gaining in popularity is donor-advised funds. These are funds created by donors where money, appreciated securities or other assets are deposited, then those funds are distributed to charities over time. Donor-advised funds are on the upswing. In fact, donor-advised fund contributions make up approximately 7 percent of all individual charitable donations. Donations to these funds increased by nearly 24 percent in 2013, according to CNBC.com. If you make a donation to a donor-advised fund,...

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Holiday Season Good Time to Discuss Estate Planning with Loved Ones

Your parents are getting older and you may be wondering if they have a plan in place just in case something awful suddenly occurs. However, it is difficult to have that conversation since it is an uncomfortable subject to talk about and you may not be in close proximity to your loved ones. The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to have that conversation with your loved ones since everyone is together and can participate. It may not be the most “holly jolly” subject, but it needs to be done. Being proactive and getting your family on the same page will...

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