Will Planning

What are the Requirements to Set Up a Trust in Virginia?

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Trusts are essential tools that allow one to hold and manage their estate and property efficiently. There are various types of trusts to choose from, like revocable trust, irrevocable trust, living trust, education trust, pet trust, etc. Each of these trusts works differently offers different estate planning solutions. Before starting up a Virginia estate trust, one must be aware of the various options at their disposal. It’s wise to discuss these options with your estate and probate lawyer.

The next step is to draft all the required documents and then fund the trust. Creating a strong trust requires deliberate planning and strategies. To prevent your estate trust from becoming invalid, you must consult a qualified tax lawyer.

So, what are the requirements to draft an estate trust in Virginia?

In Virginia, most trusts are built upon the Uniform Trust Code. Under the Uniform Trust Code, two codes are relevant for creating Virginia Trust.

Va. Code § 64.2-719. Methods of Creating a Trust

The methods of creating trust outline four ways through which the residents of Virginia can form their trust.

One of the methods to transfer the estate to another person is to create a power of attorney. A power of attorney authorizes the agent of the settlor to form a trust on their behalf. The trust comes into effect after the demise of the settlor.

The second method requires the owner to declare that they own identifiable property as trustee. Another approach is to exercise the power of appointment in a trustee’s favor. The fourth option is to form a trust according to Virginia estate planning laws.  

Va. Code § 64.2-720. Requirements for Creation

In the requirements of the Trust Creation section, Virginia Trust can only be created if you meet the following criteria.

If the settlor or their agent is capable of creating the trust or the settlor or their agent has an intention to create a trust.

There are certain duties and responsibilities that a trustee named in the trust has to undertake. Additionally, the person named as a trustee is not the sole beneficiary.

It’s worth noting that the requirements of creating a trust can change as per the trust you choose to form. Similarly, the implementation of the trust may also change as per the trust. Thus, it’s essential to consult a qualified trust attorney  when going through the process of drafting trust and will.

Now, let’s understand the process of drafting a trust agreement.

A trust agreement is basically a legal document that dictates who the settlor, beneficiaries, and trustee of your newly built trust are. Additionally, the trust outlines how the trust assets will be administrated and distributed amongst the surviving beneficiaries once you pass away.

The trust agreement should have your name as the settlor, the names of all the beneficiaries, the name of the trustee, and how you would want your assets to be managed and distributed.

Although it’s not legally required to sign the trust in front of a notary, it’s usually recommended by estate planning attorneys.

However, if you choose to sign the trust before the notary, make sure you appear before them with an unsigned document.…


State voters should keep the death penalty abolished

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Wisconsin used to have the death penalty. Before 1853. Before the botched hanging in 1851 of John McCaffary, who drowned his wife in a water trough. I first wrote about the McCaffary hanging in 1991, when the Legislature was also considering enacting the death penalty. It’s quite a story. On a summer day in 1851, Kenosha County officials set up a wooden gallows in an area large enough to accommodate about 2,000 spectators who showed up to watch the hanging.

A newspaper at that time said McCaffary’s body was “hoisted” into the air when he hit the end of the rope. He dangled there for about eight minutes. His heart was still beating. Doctors checked his pulse and then let him hang there for another 10 minutes, in front of all the spectators, before he finally died.

Public opinion changed pretty dramatically about capital punishment in Wisconsin after that. In 1853, the Legislature abolished it. Now many legislators want to bring it back. Several weeks ago, the state Senate approved Senate Joint Resolution 5, calling for an advisory referendum in November on the issue of capital punishment.

Late Thursday, the Assembly voted to put the death penalty referendum on the November ballot. It’s unclear whether that will happen, however, because the Assembly proposal was slightly different than the Senate version, and another Senate vote would be required.

State Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, who supports both the referendum and the death penalty itself (for particularly heinous crimes), said he expects the Senate to approve the issue later when it comes back to deal with some administrative issues.Legislators have been trying for years to bring back the death penalty for Wisconsin.

In 1991, they sought the death penalty for serial killers. The question legislators want to ask voters this time is if they favor capital punishment for murders where there is a DNA match.Public opinion surveys often show that most citizens favor the death penalty, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. One theory is that the death penalty deters murder.

Does it? Louisiana has the death penalty and it also has the highest murder rate in the country, with 12.7 murders for every 100,000 people in 2004.The murder rates in the death penalty states of Maryland, New Mexico and Mississippi are all above seven murders for every 100,000 people.

In Wisconsin, by contrast, the murder rate is 2.8. Iowa doesn’t have the death penalty, and its rate is 1.6. Texas, which executes the most people in the nation, has a 6.1 murder rate.

The New York Times, which has published editorials against capital punishment, did a study of homicide rates and death penalties in 2000, and concluded that murder rates rise and fall with little seeming relationship to whether states execute murderers.

The Times quoted Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann, who said the death penalty is applied unfairly to minorities. “It is rare that a wealthy white man gets executed, if it happens at all,” McCann said.

Officials who “have labored long in the criminal justice system know, supported by a variety of studies and extensive personal experience, that blacks get the harsher hand in criminal justice and particularly in capital punishment cases,” McCann wrote in 1996.

Public safety can be served by keeping our most dangerous criminals in prison without parole for the rest of their lives.That way we don’t need to restore the death penalty in Wisconsin.…