A trust is a legal concept where property – whether it be real property or assets – is overseen by an appointed person who manages the interests of one or more beneficiaries. This appointed person is referred to as the trustee and the individual who owns the property is called the settler.
A Trustee Represents the Interests of the Settler
The settler entrusts his or her business assets to the trustee, who then holds the legal title. This often occurs in estate planning, where people who desire to leave their property to their children may instead leave it in the hands of a trustee. For example, if a parent has a child that is under 18 years of age or are not trusted to handle money, a trustee will represent the interests of the beneficiary. This same concept is applied to a business trust.
A Business Trust
A business trust is set up when the assets and property of a business corporation are entrusted to an appointed trustee. The trustees will manage the operation and assets of the business, not for their own profit, but for the profit of the beneficiaries. The person who creates the business is referred to as the settler. The beneficiaries may receive a certain amount of income throughout the duration of the business trust.
A Business Trust as an Alternative to Standard Partnership
At the time when the business trust is over, the ownership of the business will eventually be transferred to the beneficiaries. In order to set up a business trust, the organization must prove that it is engaging in some kind of business practice. This may include the manufacturing of products, buying and selling goods, or investing.
A business trust will usually be established as an alternative to a standard partnership because in a business trust, the interests of the partners are represented by a trustee. The beneficiaries actually have very limited liability in the profits of the business.
Reasons to have a Business Trust
People will engage in a business trust for a variety of reasons. It may be used to safeguard certain assets from a lawsuit, creditors, or taxation. A written document will be issued to the trustee which will specify the duration of the agreement, the specific responsibilities of the trustee, as well as the interests of the beneficiaries. The trustees will hold the actual title for the business, but the beneficiaries will receive certificates as proof of their interests in the trust.
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If you have any further questions about business trust, need help setting one up, or are in need of legal advice or representation, please contact Kamerow Law Firm or call 703-370-8088.
It may not be something you like to think about but it is never a bad idea to have a will prepared. In the event of your death you want to make sure that your assets are distributed as you would like them to be. You do not want to leave your property and assets in limbo because you did not have a will prepared. It will also take stress off your family members and they will able to make sure your wishes are fulfilled.
Below we provide you with a few guidelines so that you can easily prepare your will.
What can you do with a Virginia will?
Wills can help you protect your family and property and use it to:
- Leave your property to people or organizations.
- Name a personal guardian to care for you minor children.
- Name a trusted person to manage property you leave to minor children.
- Name an executor or executrix, the person who makes sure that the terms of your will are carried out.
Who can make a will?
Any person of at least 18 years of age may prepare a will.
The only times a person may not make a will is if they are considered of unsound mind or are under 18 years of age.
Do you need a witness or have the will notarized?
In the state of Virginia you need at least two witnesses for the finalization of your will. They must witness you signing your will, and must also sign the will.
In Virginia you do not need to have wills notarized for it to be considered a legal document. However, if you want a will that is “self-proving” you will need to have it notarized. The advantage of a self-proving will is that is speeds up the probate process.
Experienced in Preparing Wills in Virginia | Kamerow Law Firm
If you have any questions about preparing your will in the state of Virginia or are in need of legal advice or representation please call Kamerow Law Firm at 703-370-8088 or contact us online .
In Virginia, the probate process is handled by the court in the county where the testator (the person who created the will) lived when they died. As of December 2010, probate in Virginia is generally only required when an estate’s assets – minus those that pass directly to a beneficiary, such as life insurance and real estate with rights of survivorship – total more than $5,000.
Step 1 – Call the Circuit Court Clerk
Call the circuit court clerk in the appropriate county and make an appointment to meet with him. Take the original will and a certified copy of the birth certificate with you. When you meet with the clerk, you must give him an estimate of the state’s value and pay a probate tax.
Step 2 – Take Oath as Executor (-trix) and Post Bond
Take an oath of office as executor of the estate and post a bond. If you are not the only beneficiary of the will or the testator hasn’t waived this requirement, the bond must equal to the value of the estate to insure against any wrongdoing on your part. The clerk will give you a certificate of qualification so you may act on the estate’s behalf.
Step 3 – Contact Beneficiaries and Heirs
Contact all beneficiaries and heirs, or those closely related to the testator who would have inherited if he died without a will. You must advise them that the will is in probate and that you have been appointed as executor. You have 30 days to do this.
Step 4 – Secure the Testator’s Property and Assets
Secure the testator’s property and all assets. Contact insurance companies, employer, Social Security, and Veteran’s Affairs, if applicable. This is to arrange any payments due the estate. Within four months you must submit a list of all assets, complete with their value. This is not necessary if the total value of the estate is less than $15,000.
Step 5 – Determine if Taxes or Money Owed
Determine if the testator owed anyone money and confer with an accountant to found out if estate taxes are due.
Step 6 – Distribute the Remaining Assets
Distribute the remaining assets of the estate to the testator’s beneficiaries in the will.
Experienced Estate and Will Attorneys | Kamerow Law Firm
If you have any questions about Virginia’s probate process, or are in need of legal advice or representation please contact Kamerow Law Firm or call 703-370-8088.