Navigate Complex Legal Issues with Comprehensive Services at The Majors Law Firm
Probate & Trust Administration
The task of administering an estate or Trust after the death of a loved one can be a difficult process. There are many legal and financial decisions that need to be made, legal documents to interpret, and laws to follow.
If you have been named Trustee, it can be to your benefit to seek legal advice, as the Trust will have to be administered in compliance with its own terms and with state law. Our firm can help you through this process and ensure that your responsibilities are met. This includes notifying beneficiaries, gathering assets, and consulting with financial advisors regarding the preparation of income, gift, and estate tax returns.
When the decedent did not have a Trust, or for those assets which were not included in the Trust, the estate will likely have to go through probate. The probate process involves transferring property and assets, paying the debts of the estate, and notifying beneficiaries. Probate is also the forum through which challenges regarding the estate are settled. Our firm represents executors of estates in the probate process, as well as clients involved in probate and Trust litigation.
We are here to counsel you and help you make the best decisions for you and your family. We will work with you to expedite the process, and make it as easy and pain-free as possible. If your family is facing a probate process or are seeking assistance with Trust administration, The Majors Law Firm provides knowledgeable and responsive assistance to fiduciaries, guiding them through the intricate requirements of tax compliance, accounting, and closure in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Asset Protection & Business Planning
Owners of closely held businesses have unique problems and opportunities. Of particular concern for most business owners is planning for the transfer of ownership and control of the family business from one generation to the next.
When planning for business continuity, we will review your limited liability company, partnership, or shareholder agreements and coordinate those agreements with your estate plan. A review of corporate agreements may include recommendations to reorganize or create new business entities. A buy-sell agreement, family limited partnership, limited liability company or a Trust vehicle may also be useful for you to consider.
In assisting business owners in the formulation of plans designed to keep the business in the family we also seek to minimize taxes. We consider the impact of income, gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes and plan for cash needs. We have substantial experience in designing techniques to withdraw cash from businesses to meet the family’s needs during the principal owner’s life as well as at death.
Asset protection is another cornerstone of every estate plan. A properly formulated estate plan can be designed to manage your assets, guide future generations, and avoid the possible squandering of your legacy. With planning you provide enhanced protection from creditors, ex-spouses, imprudent investors, or spendthrift beneficiaries.
Incapacity planning, also known as life planning, is really planning for problems which arise when you lack the ability to manage your affairs during a period of incapacity.
A minimal amount of time and money spent planning and putting the appropriate directions in place can save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in the future. Planning today also saves the emotional toll that is placed on your family when they have to resort to the court system to address issues that should have been taken care before incapacity strikes.
Incapacity planning can include an advanced medical directive (“Living Will”) which takes into account the extent to which you want extraordinary life-extending measures taken in the event of a terminal illness or injury. Other documents, such as durable powers of attorney and medical powers of attorney give authority to someone else to act on your behalf as if they are you in financial and medical matters.
Because you never know when you will need to have the proper planning in place, it is important to take advantage of the opportunity to write your own plan and let your wishes be known.
Incapacity planning documents include:
- Advanced Medical Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney (“Health Care Agent”)
Every year, Americans give billions of dollars to charities, often without fully understanding the significant tax benefits that can strengthen their own finances.
The Majors Law Firm advises private individuals on their planned giving strategies, helping them structure charitable gifts and bequests in the manner that most effectively implements their philanthropic goals and donative intent while maximizing the potential tax benefits. Our comprehensive charitable giving strategies can increase savings by reducing income taxes and minimizing, or even eliminating, estate and capital gains taxes. Certain Trusts can even increase retirement income. Our Firm guides clients in determining the best plan to support their charitable cause.
Types of charitable giving services available include:
- Incorporation of Charitable Non-Profit Organizations
- Development of Private and Community Foundations
- Charitable Remainder and Lead Trusts
- Charitable Gifts and Bequests
- Donor Advised Funds
- Ongoing Management and Advising
The Majors Law Firm, PLLC has experience and knowledge to draft and implement any number of specialty Trusts appropriate for your particular needs. Specialty Trusts are used in unique circumstances. They can be used for many things including to provide for heirs with physical or developmental disabilities, to protect the interests of unmarried life partners, and, if you use a professional Trustee, a specialty Trust can help ensure the tax deferral of your IRA assets for your heirs after your death.
A list of speciality planning and related Trusts includes, but is not limited to:
- Special Needs Trusts (“Supplemental Needs Trusts”)
- Foreign Citizens/Nationals
- Estate Planning for Unmarried Life Partners and Same-Sex Couples
- Animal/Pet Trusts
- Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
- Health and Education Exclusion Trusts
- Education Trusts
- Gun Trusts
- Decanting Trusts
- IRA Trusts
Tax Planning & Controversies
In today’s sophisticated economic and business climate almost every transaction, entity, and business formation raise federal and state income tax issues on which The Majors Law Firm, PLLC has the depth of knowledge and expertise to advise you.
We make every effort to minimize our client’s tax exposure, save taxes when challenged by taxing authorities, structure business deals in order to make them tax-efficient, and undertake tax planning to reduce risks of future tax problems and liabilities.
The Firm’s tax practice is wide ranging and covers many of the tax issues you or your businesses will face. These include choice of entities to be used, tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, issues involved in real estate transactions, and issues relating to the formation of pass-through entities (S corporations, partnerships, and LLCs).
The Firm also offers experience in handling controversy work with the IRS, including audits, appeals, and pretrial tax litigation. The prospect of an IRS examination or audit can be very upsetting to either you or your business. An examination or audit can disrupt your business operations and, if not handled properly and controlled, can materially affect your business relationships, and ultimately your bottom line.
With care and knowledge of your particularized needs and situation, the Firm will serve as your guide and help to resolve your tax issues.
Whether our clients are faced with complex estate and gift tax examinations, corporate tax issues, or with income tax issues for individuals or Trusts and estates, the Firm’s extensive knowledge of the tax controversy process and experience with the IRS at all levels enables us to reach favorable outcomes and resolutions for our clients.
It’s never too soon to plan ahead.
We are here to counsel you and help you make the best decisions for you and your family. Contact Us Today!