I have over 10 years of experience in estate and trust administration. I continue to... more
I have over 10 years of experience in estate and trust administration. I continue to be in demand to speak before legal, accounting, and business groups. I am Co-Chair of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Section of the Fairfax Bar Association. I am Secretary of the McLean Estate Planning Council. I am a Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. I am licensed by the bar associations of... view profile
Mr. Smolen has gained recognition over the past 31 years for his knowledge of... more
Mr. Smolen has gained recognition over the past 31 years for his knowledge of complex business transactions, trusts and estates. He incorporates both his business and financial acumen and estate experience to formulate integrated plans for the benefit of his clients. Mr. Smolen has appeared as a guest expert on television programs and has had articles published in various forums.Mr. Smolen is a... view profile
Mr. Bergstrom is the founder of the general practice law firm Bergstrom & Taylor and... more
Mr. Bergstrom is the founder of the general practice law firm Bergstrom & Taylor and manager of Arsenal Attorneys, a specialized law practice for BATFE regulations and firearms issues. He overseas offices in Washington, DC and Fairfax, Virginia, and he leads a team of 20 attorneys licensed to serve clients across America.
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District... more
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, healthcare decision issues, estate administration, estate taxes, elder law, and disability concerns. An AV PreeminentTM Peer Review RatedSM attorney by Martindale-Hubbell , John is listed in The Best Lawye... view profile
Why So Many Avoid Preparing Their Wills Many lawyers do not prepare wills and trusts... more
Why So Many Avoid Preparing Their Wills Many lawyers do not prepare wills and trusts for lower- to middle-class clients because of the detailed effort required without the financial rewards. Because of the high fees, the recession and the general desire to avoid the topic of death, more than half of the people in our country are without any estate planning. Those who can't afford to pay thous... view profile
A trust is an arrangement whereby someone owns and manages money or property for another person's benefit. Like a guardianship, a trustee has decision-making authority over the trust property, but no court is involved in the trustee's action–the person who creates the trust defines the scope of the trustee's power. There are many different trust types, including probate trusts, income trusts, spendthrift trusts, and educational trusts. For example, a living trust allows you to manage your property while you are alive and to direct who will manage it if you become incapable of doing so. In essence, you choose your own “guardian” in advance and avoid having the court do it for you. A trust attorney reviews the many reasons for establishing a trust with you, and can ensure your trust will be legally valid.