John T Midgett
* Basic Estate Planning
* Advanced Estate Planning
* Estate/Trust Administration
* Fiduciary Litigation
* Elder Law
* Guardianship and Conservatorship
* Family or Closely Held Business Law

No matter the size of the estate, every individual should have a personalized plan for his or her estate. Whether the issue is tax planning, division of assets, appointing an executor, naming guardians for minor children or planning for avoidance of probate, estate planning is the key to ensuring that your priorities are addressed to your satisfaction.

The first step is to establish your goals. You certainly know the concerns which motivated you to plan, and an experienced attorney can assist you with identifying additional issues of which you may not even be aware. Your priorities might include one or more of the following:
* Provide financial protection for your surviving spouse
* Protect inheritance for children from a prior marriage
* Provide for minor children or grandchildren (especially disabled ones)
* Minimize estate and income taxes
* Determine proper beneficiary designations for retirement plans, IRAs and life insurance
* Name guardians for your children
* Keep the business in the family
* Establish trusts for professional management of your assets
* Prevent the unwanted disposition of your assets to certain persons
* Ensure your charitable giving goals are perpetuated

The next step is to determine the most effective estate planning tools for achieving those goals based upon advice of counsel. Your estate plan might include one or more of the following documents:
- Will
- Revocable "Living" Trust
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- "Living Will"

Advanced estate planning involves assessing the anticipated estate and income tax liability of an individual or married couple and determining which combination of recognized - or creative - strategies will reduce or eliminate these taxes. Where appropriate, arrangements can be made to provide heirs with funds intended to replace the assets paid over in taxes. The following are some of the more common estate planning vehicles:
- Credit Shelter Trusts and Marital Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Charitable Remainder/Lead Trusts
- Personal Residence Trusts
- Family Limited Partnerships
- GRATs and GRUTs
- Miscellaneous Planning Tools

Experienced counsel can apprise clients of the available options and take the lead in planning and implementing the chosen advanced estate planning strategies. It is also the attorney's goal to bring together the team of advisors for clients to bring the tax, legal, business and financial perspectives to the table for consideration, resulting in a thorough and efficient planning process, to bring the client valuable peace of mind from knowing that one's desires and goals for the family can be achieved.

Each of the attorneys at Midgett & Preti PC handles the administration of probate estates, revocable and irrevocable trusts and taxable estates on a daily basis. Executors and administrators seek our counsel to assist them with the process of qualifying as the personal representative for the estate, determining which asset come under their control, obtaining the value of those assets, filing inventories and accountings with the Commissioner of Accounts, preparing individual and fiduciary tax returns and making timely distributions under the estate (whether by will or by statute). There are a myriad of issues which tend to arise, including spousal claims, assets passing outside the will or trust to one family member, sale of real estate, reinvestment of assets and related tax matters, advancements to be charged against a beneficiary, and so on.

The popularity of revocable "living" trusts has certainly affected the number of estates administered under the probate system in Virginia , but it also means that these trusts must be administered (albeit privately). Many decedents who established living trusts did not fully fund them (in other words, re-title assets into the name of their trust), requiring those assets to be administered through the very probate system they sought to avoid.

Given the number and significance of issues which can (and do) arise in the administration of an estate or trust, no matter how small or large, experienced counsel is advisable for most fiduciaries. Our commitment is to provide timely and accurate guidance to our executor, administrator, trustee and conservator clients so that they may meet their fiduciary obligations to the beneficiaries of the estate or trust which has been entrusted to them.

Accredited Estate Planner - National Association of Estate Planners & Councils

John T Midgett
Midgett & Preti PC
477 Viking Dr #430
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Tel: 757 687-8888
Fax: 757 687-8732

John T. Midgett, attorney, Founder of Midgett & Preti PC in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His practice is concentrated in the related areas of estate planning, administration and taxation, elder law, and family business planning.

John is a native of Hampton Roads, having graduated from Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk in 1971. He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he attained a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Distinction in 1975. He is a 1978 graduate of the T. C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, where he was a member of the Law Review.

John is a former instructor for the estate planning and administration programs at Tidewater Community College and is dynamic and nationally known speaker on topics relating to estate planning, taxation, probate, elder law, and family businesses. John has also written and lectured to other attorneys, accountants, and trust officers in the related areas of estate planning, taxation and administration for the continuing education required in the various professions.

In addition to his busy practice and speaking schedule, John is actively involved in the Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Duke University Estate Planning Council. John is also the President of the newly formed the Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council. He has been rated as “AV” in the areas of estate planning and administration, the highest designation available to attorneys in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. John has been named to Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite, and has been included in the 2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
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