Estate Planning

Wills, Trusts and Estates

Bert van Gils provides personal, empathetic and foresightful estate planning to help assure that family property is passed to the intended recipients and protected from lawsuits and taxation.

Through the appropriate and judicious use of wills, trusts and, at times, certain business models such as a family limited partnership, a family’s objectives can be achieved and its assets protected. More valuable than the protection of property is the care and protection for minor children in the event of accidents and unforeseen illness.

Van Gils Law Firm, Wills, Trusts and Estates, Photo of a large family

Even those with seemingly modest means have an estate —and several strategies to choose from to ensure assets are distributed according to specific desires in a timely fashion. One size does not fit all. The right strategy depends on your individual circumstances and having an attorney who takes time to listen and truly care. There are many times that a living trust will achieve the objectives desired and a will, by itself, would not be adequate or even wise. Every client has worked hard for what they have and a good attorney should be mindful and respectful of that fact. Included with the expertise of drafting estate documents is the expertise of getting to know, and wanting to know, the client and his or her family. Time should be taken to obtain a firm knowledge of the client’s estate and goals and concerns. There are often many issues and concerns of which the client is not immediately aware. A client’s needs and goals must be understood. The attorney should then make the various estate tools at the client’s disposal, and the reasons for using each, understandable.  For more information Email our Office.

Estate Planning Services:

Although when most people think of wills, they think of the distribution of money and possessions, the Van Gils Law Firm believes that the most important aspect is the care and protection of children.
A trust is a private agreement between the trust maker and the party designated to hold the trust assets (the Trustee) and handle them according to the terms of the trust without judicial supervision (probate).
A will is a legal document appointing and directing an executor to dispose of your assets as you direct provided that you are of sound mind and at least eighteen years old (in Virginia) at the time you make your will.
Probate is a judicially supervised process to oversee the payment of debts and taxes, and the distribution of assets according to the directions of the will. Probate in Virginia for smaller and simpler estates is not complex.
This is the document which is colloquially known as a “living will.”  It provides for the cessation of life prolonging procedures if one is diagnosed with a “terminal condition” or is in a “persistent vegetative state” where the application of life-prolonging procedures would serve only to artificially prolong the dying process.
This document empowers another person to make decisions about medical treatment when the patient can not speak for him or herself. With the continuing advancement of medical technology, a living will by itself is inadequate.
People should just not plan for their eventual death but also possible incapacity, even if it is temporary. There should be a trustworthy party who is legally able to conduct one’s affairs in the event of incapacity.