Estate planning is not reserved for the elderly or wealthy. A well-designed estate plan will work to protect you and your loved ones throughout your lifetime, and every adult should have one. Our team offers basic and advanced estate planning services. The extent of planning required for your situation will depend on your specific financial circumstances. 

Every estate plan should answer these questions:

Estate planning includes creating a valid a will, appointing powers of attorney, establishing advanced medical directives, living wills, and creating one or more trusts to keep your family out of probate court which is costly and time consuming.  Your estate plan outlines a roadmap for your heirs and beneficiaries not only for what should happen once you pass away but ALSO if you become incapacitated.

Advanced estate planning may be necessary if you have considerable lucrative assets and are considered a high-net-worth individual. These tools can help you minimize the impact of estate and inheritance taxes, achieve asset protection, and avoid unnecessary conflict among heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors. 

Protect Your Legacy with a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Planning for the future is essential to ensure that your assets and loved ones are protected. At Zell Law, our experienced estate planning attorneys in Reston, VA can help you create a comprehensive estate plan tailored to your unique needs and goals.

Why is estate planning important?

  • Preserve your wealth: An estate plan allows you to determine how your assets will be distributed after your passing, ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of.
  • Minimize taxes: With strategic estate planning, you can minimize the tax burden on your estate, leaving more for your beneficiaries.
  • Protect your family: By designating guardians for minor children and creating a plan for their care, you can have peace of mind knowing that your family is protected.
  • Avoid probate: A well-crafted estate plan can help your loved ones avoid the lengthy and costly probate process.
  • Plan for incapacity: In addition to addressing what happens after your passing, an estate plan can include documents such as a power of attorney and healthcare directive to ensure that your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated.

Our estate planning attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of estate planning, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and more. We will work closely with you to understand your unique circumstances and goals, and create a personalized estate plan that reflects your wishes.

Don't leave your legacy to chance. Contact our Reston estate planning attorneys today to schedule a consultation and start protecting your assets and loved ones.

Call an Estate Planning Attorney Near You

Our Reston estate planning attorneys can evaluate your situation and provide you with the guidance you need. Call 571-410-3500 today to for help creating your estate plan.

Reston Estate Planning Attorneys

Serving all of Northern VA, DC, MD and nationwide

Estate planning is much more than taking steps to minimize estate and inheritance taxes. While reducing the impact of taxation can be an important component for high-net-worth individuals, estate planning also is about creating and protecting your legacy. Developing an effective plan involves defining how best to control your property while you are alive as well as planning for what will happen if you become incapacitated. Your estate plan should also consider what assets you have and to whom you wish to leave those assets once you pass away. A strong estate plan will allow you to decide how and when your assets will be distributed.

Do not wait to start building your estate plan. Contact us online or call (571) 410-3500 to request an initial consultation with an estate planning attorney near you.


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Know Your Options

Our experienced team at Zell Law is familiar with a myriad of estate planning instruments and techniques. We will work closely with you to understand your goals before advising what steps you should take to achieve them. 

Our Reston estate planning lawyers can assist you with:

  • Revocable Trusts. A revocable trust is the most important of many estate plans. This type of trust is sometimes referred to as a “will substitute” in that it allows you to distribute assets once you are gone. Unlike a will, however, the contents of a revocable trust are private and avoid the costly and often messy probate process. We can help you create, fund, and manage your revocable trust.
  • Wills. Your last will and testament will allow you to name a minor guardian for your minor children, beneficiaries for your assets, and an executor for your estate. Wills must be properly witnessed and validated. This document will serve as the foundation of your estate plan, but its contents are a matter of public record and subject to the notoriously protracted probate process.
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  • Choosing Guardians, Trustees, and Executors. Deciding who will be responsible for your minor children, assets, and estate can be a challenging task. You must be cautious and thoughtful when selecting fiduciaries, who will be responsible for protecting your assets, children, and legacy. We provide thorough guidance in this area, and our firm also offers trustee and fiduciary services. Our lawyers can assist you with estate and trust administration and serve as your personal representative and/or successor trustee.
  • Medical Directives. Advance medical directives will outline your healthcare preferences in situations where you become incapacitated and unable to communicate. We typically recommend appointing a power of attorney that can advocate on your behalf in situations involving medical, therapeutic, or surgical procedures. If you live in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia, you can also implement a “living will,” a document that allows you to preemptively decide what types of life-saving or life-prolonging care you wish to receive or not receive.
  • Business Succession Planning. If you own a private business, you will need to consider what will happen to your company once you retire, pass away, or become incapacitated. A strong succession plan will identify qualified successors, establish a clear transition plan, and take steps to protect and provide for your surviving loved ones.
  • Tax Planning. Even basic estate plans should consider potential tax consequences: Your executor or personal representative will be responsible for filing your final tax returns, and any outstanding tax liabilities may jeopardize planned inheritances. If you are a high-net-worth individual, you will need to consider the potential impacts of estate and inheritance taxes. Strategic lifetime gifts and equity sales can help you minimize the impact of taxation.
  • Education Planning. As education costs continue to rise at an alarming rate, it is important to take proactive steps to help fund your loved ones’ educations. We can help you utilize 529 trusts and minor’s trusts as well as creative and emerging solutions.
  • Charitable Planning. Philanthropic efforts allow you to give back to the community and important causes. They can also serve as an important piece of your estate plan, especially if you are a high-net-worth individual. We can assist you with non-profit organizations, private foundations, charitable remainder trusts, and donor advised funds.

Estate Planning in the Heart of Virginia: Local Insights and Resources

Living in Virginia, particularly in areas like Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, and Reston, brings unique considerations regarding estate planning. The local government entities, such as the Virginia Department of Taxation and the Fairfax County Circuit Court, play crucial roles in the administration and probate processes. Understanding how these entities operate can help streamline estate planning efforts and ensure compliance with state-specific regulations.

One common pain point for residents in Northern Virginia, including places like Reston, is navigating the complexities of estate and inheritance taxes. With the high property values in regions like McLean and Great Falls, many individuals are concerned about the potential tax implications on their estates. Our firm is well-versed in local tax laws and can provide strategic advice to minimize your tax burden, ensuring more of your assets are preserved for your beneficiaries.

Another significant concern for Virginians, including those in Reston, is the rising cost of education. With prestigious institutions like George Mason University and the University of Virginia nearby, many families are eager to plan for their children's educational futures. We offer tailored solutions, including 529 plans and minor trusts, to help you effectively fund your loved ones' education while taking advantage of tax benefits.

Additionally, the vibrant philanthropic community in Virginia offers numerous opportunities for charitable giving. Whether you are interested in supporting local non-profits in Reston or establishing a private foundation, we can guide you through incorporating charitable planning into your estate plan. This not only benefits the community but also provides potential tax advantages.

By leveraging our deep understanding of the local landscape and resources in Reston and Northern Virginia, we can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that addresses your needs and goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with estate planning in Virginia.

Commonly Asked Questions

What are the benefits of estate planning for high-net-worth individuals?

Advanced estate planning for high-net-worth individuals can help minimize estate and inheritance taxes, provide asset protection, and prevent conflicts among heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors.

How can estate planning help in minimizing taxes?

Through strategic estate planning, individuals can minimize the tax burden on their estate, allowing more assets to be passed on to their beneficiaries.

What documents are included in an estate plan besides wills and trusts?

An estate plan can also include powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and other legal documents to ensure that your wishes are followed, even in cases of incapacity.