What Is InSight Law?
Whether you have already had a plan in place or are wondering what estate planning is, Insight can help. We offer a variety of services and planning tools to educate our clients and their families on estate planning issues and collaborate with our clients to form comprehensive, efficient and up to date estate plans.
At Insight we not only work together as a team to ensure our clients get the best possible service, but we include our clients in the team. We offer continuing education for them and their families to keep their plans up to date with changes in their lives and the law. We work with clients on a continuing basis and don’t charge for phone calls or by the hour. Insight offers clients a continuing estate planning service that keeps up to date with all their needs. This helps foster a relationship between Insight and its clients to build the best plans and promote personalized service.
Insight was started by Robert Feisee after the tragic experience he had with his father and problems which arose from his father’s illness and lack of planning. Robert, “Bobby” wanted to help ensure others did not face what him and his family did during this tough period. He strives not only to provide clients with plans that work for them, but to also help clients pass on their legacy through Legacy Planning. In addition, Insight offers clients planning tools for their businesses and works closely with financial advisers to foster a teamwork approach to estate planning.
We work with clients and their families to establish a complete estate plan that works. We do not charge for meetings, phone calls and emails. We offer maintenance plans to our clients where we continue to work with them and their changing needs, as well as offer document updating to reflect changes in the law. Please join us at one of our free Planning Workshops to learn more about our firm and our process.
General Estate Planning Questions
If you do not have a Will when you pass, your state intestacy statutes will come into play. The courts will appoint a personal representative to settle your affairs accordingly. Each state varies greatly in how it divides your estate. Listed below are some highlights to show how each state differs in dividing up your estate in Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia when you pass away without a Will, or a legally enforceable Will:
Virginia: Your spouse would receive all of your estate if you had no children from another relationship or no children at all. If you have children from a different relationship, your spouse receives 1/3rd of your estate and your children get 2/3rds. If you have no spouse, it all goes down to any descendents equally. If you have no spouse or descendents, the entire estate goes to your parents if living. If your parents are not living, it then will go down to their descendents.
Maryland: If you are married and have minor children, then 50% of your estate goes to your spouse and 50% goes to your children. If you have no minor children, then your spouse gets the first $15,000 of your estate plus 50% and your older children get the remainder 50%. If you have no children, but living parents, your spouse gets $15,000 plus 50% and your parents get the remainder 50%. If you have no spouse or living parents, the estate passes to up to your parents descendents and then grandparents and their descendents.
District of Columbia: Your spouse gets 2/3rds of your estate and your children get 1/3rd. If you have no descendents, your spouse would get 3/4ths of your estate and your parents if living would get 1/4th. If you have no living parents or descendents, your spouse gets 100% of your estate. If you have children from a different relationship then your spouse, the surviving spouse gets 1/2 your estate and the children get 1/2. If you have no spouse, your descendents share equally. Finally, if you have no spouse or descendents, you parents get 100%.
A Will can help you get around these statutes and direct courts on how you want your assets divided, and who you want to be in charge of carrying out your wishes. Please Contact Us to find out how we can help you create a will that fits your state requirements to be legally binding and ensures your estate is divided the way you want it.
A Trust is a great a planning tool that is extremely flexible, and not a one size fits all type of document. A Trust is usually used as part of a family’s estate plan along with a will. There are numerous different types of Trusts and they all can be used in a variety of ways to help ensure your estate plan works in the way you want it to. The way Trusts affect each family’s estate plan varies but they can be used as tools to help protect your assets from creditors, assist in tax savings planning, avoid probate expenses, and help people achieve their individual planning goals. We suggest you Contact an estate planning attorney to discuss ways in which a Trust can benefit you.
If you don not have an estate plan for the management of your assets and affairs, your state’s intestacy laws will take over upon your disability or passing. Sadly, many individuals don’t engage in formal estate planning because they don’t think that they have “a lot of assets” or mistakenly believe that their assets will be automatically shared among their children. A well thought out Estate Plan ensures your wishes are carried out in the administration and control of your estate upon your disability or passing.
If you pass away without establishing an estate plan, your estate would undergo probate, a public, court-supervised proceeding. Probate can be expensive and tie up the assets of the deceased for a prolonged period before beneficiaries can receive them. Even worse, your failure to outline your intentions through proper estate planning can tear apart your family as each person maneuvers to be appointed with the authority to manage your affairs. Additionally, as tax laws continue to change, it is important you meet with professionals to discuss any tax planning tools to help ensure your plan avoids any unnecessary tax consequences or fees.
Passing of a Loved One
Contact an attorney as soon as possible and locate any estate planning documents your loved one may have. Meeting with an attorney is essential to establish the correct settlement and distribution plans for your loved one’s estate. For our clients, this plan is already in place so please call our office as soon as possible at 703-654-6019. There is no costs for our current clients to make this call and we can provide you with additional instructions at that time, as well as address any critical questions you may have.
Always check your loved one’s plan to see if they have already made funeral arrangements. They may have set something up already and may even have purchased a pre-paid funeral plan in the form of an insurance policy. Most funeral directors will want payment upon services rendered, however, be careful in using any funds from the estate without first coordinating with an attorney to arrange how expenses should be handled. Often times, either a family member will need to pay and be reimbursed by the estate, or an attorney can get an extension from the funeral director with a letter indicating there are sufficient funds to cover the costs at a later date.
1. Do not drive their car. Ensure you have the car retitled into the name of the beneficiary first. If something happens, all the assets left by the loved one could be subject to claims from creditors.
2. Do not remove any objects from the household. Often times there are specific distributions of household furnishings in the estate plan before any remaining assets are distributed. This all needs to be settled after you meet with an attorney and discuss the appropriate distribution and settlement plan.
No! Powers of attorney become void upon the death of the maker. Thus, continuing to use power of attorney could be considered fraud.