ANNOUNCEMENT: Norton Pelt, PLC is relocating! As of 5/2/2022, you can find us at 1103 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. To give you an idea of what to look for, we are moving into a historical home within walking distance of the Fredericksburg Courthouse. Our phone and fax remain the same. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Minor Children and Estate Planning: What’s the State of Your Financial Plans?

Chaotic situations, like the one the country is going through with the coronavirus pandemic, have a tendency to sharpen everyone’s focus on the things that truly matter to us. An uncomfortable truth COVID-19 has underscored is that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. For those of us with minor children, we know how vital it is to make an estate plan that not only takes care of our assets when we’re gone but, also, makes sure Read More

Virginia Red Flag Law

One notable law that recently went into effect in the Commonwealth of Virginia is the Extreme Risk Protective Order, which is the state’s version of the commonly-referred-to “Red Flag Law,” which 19 other states currently have some version of. This law is aimed at certain individuals who pose a “substantial risk of personal injury to himself or others in the near future by such person's possession or acquisition of a Read More

4 Major Updates to Virginia Criminal Law

The most recent legislative session in Virginia was a busy one. Among the many bills eventually signed into law were a number of changes to state criminal law—some of which made headlines across the country. Norton Pelt has outlined four notable changes that recently went into effect (on July 1). 1. As of July 1, marijuana is decriminalized in the commonwealth. It is still not fully legal to possess and use Read More

Should You Place Your Home in a Living Trust?

For many people, their home is the most significant asset they own. Because of this, homeowners are often eager to pass houses to their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones as part of their estate plan.   A common way for people to accomplish this is by transferring their home into a living trust. In addition to controlling who benefits from the house after your death, a living trust helps to provide for Read More

What Does Shared Physical Custody Look Like?

The most emotional (and important) part of any divorce is the question of the custody of the children. There are many considerations a court must weigh when deciding on the optimal time-sharing arrangements in a particular case, all based on the “best interests” of the children. Generally, though, physical custody will fall under “primary” or “joint” custody, with the latter sometimes being referred to as “shared” Read More

For Mothers: How To Get Physical Custody of Your Children

The question of child custody is often the most sensitive and delicate part of any separation. A considerable amount of thought and consideration goes into creating a custody and visitation arrangement that, ultimately, is in the children’s “best interests.” It is not uncommon, though, for certain parts of the agreement to be revisited from time to time.  If the circumstances of you, your children, or the other Read More

Four Reasons Coronavirus Makes Estate Planning More Important Than Ever

These unprecedented times are scary for us all. Though the numbers are still out, it seems that while coronavirus is primarily life-threatening for the elderly and immunocompromised, it can also claim the lives of the young and the healthy. For many, this is a wakeup call. Between accidents and undetected medical issues, the young and seemingly healthy have never been death-proof, but the highly contagious nature of Read More

What You Need to Know About REAL ID – Including Recent Extension

Before long, your old driver’s license will not be enough for some activities that involve the federal government. In case you haven’t seen the inside of a DMV lately, we are talking about the REAL ID. You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with REAL ID, but might not know what it will be used for, when you can get one, or whether or not you actually need a REAL ID. We will attempt to answer some common questions Read More

Restoring Your Political Rights After a Criminal Conviction

Have you ever been convicted of a felony crime in the state of Virginia? If so, your political rights—like your right to vote and serve on a jury—have likely been stripped away. Fortunately, there are a few different methods you can use to restore your political rights in Virginia. What are my political rights? Your political rights include the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office, become a notary Read More

A Brief Guide to Powers of Attorney in Virginia

Considering the types of powers of attorneys is essential for any effective estate plan in Virginia. A power of attorney grants someone you trust, referred to as your agent, the authority to make certain decisions on your behalf when you are otherwise unable to make those decisions for yourself. In the context of powers of attorney, you are considered the principal.  Your agent is obligated to operate in good faith Read More