Dealing with Investment Properties in Estate Planning

Travel listing websites like Airbnb and Vrbo have made it easy for the most casual entrepreneurs to set up income-producing assets. Think about that place in the mountains you got from your parents years ago. You might make it up there once or twice a year, but it’s now relatively simple for someone else—complete strangers, really—to book a weekend getaway there. If you own any such properties, you can consider Read More

Setting the Record Straight on Virginia Spousal Support (Alimony)

One divorce-related issue that causes stress, and sometimes contention, is the issue of alimony. Virginia laws refer to this monetary support from one current or former spouse to the other as spousal support.  High-earning spouses are continually worried about having to pay an exorbitant amount of spousal support. Spouses whose careers took a back seat to raising children or otherwise tending to the homefront are Read More

5 Answers to 5 Common Questions About Virginia Underage DUI

Some call it “underage DUI.” Others call it “baby DUI.” The charge we’re referring to involves drivers under the age of 21 and a stricter blood alcohol content (BAC) standard than the regular 0.08. Underage Virginia drivers who have a BAC of at least .02 but less than .08 will be charged with underage DUI. This charge of underage DUI can also be levied against any underage driver who was witnessed consuming alcohol Read More

How Does a Virginia Special Needs Trust Work?

Trusts are among the most versatile estate planning documents. Changing the ownership of certain assets (including real estate and cash) can be advantageous for many reasons. One type of trust commonly used by Virginians is a special needs trust (SNT).  The most common type of special needs trusts Virginians use is the third-party special needs trust. This type of SNT is created by a family member of the individual Read More

Contesting a Last Will and Testament in Virginia

Going through probate after a loved one dies is nobody’s favorite chore. After mourning the loss of your parent, sibling, or other family member, the numerous responsibilities can feel downright overwhelming. When there is a question about the validity of your loved one’s Will and, as a result, a legal challenge to the document, the agonizing process can be lengthened by months or years.  The good news—depending on Read More

Dog Bite Injuries in Virginia: What are the Rules?

Dogs are, far and away, the most popular household pet. Around two-thirds of American households own at least one dog. These furry friends come in all shapes and sizes, and the vast majority are well-behaved pooches whose only fault is drooling a little too much on the couch.  The fact remains, though, that dogs retain many of their instincts and behavior from their wild ancestors, which sometimes result in bites or Read More

Updates on Virginia Landlord-Tenant Laws

In the past year, Virginia landlords have had to stay on top of many landlord-tenant law changes. What was originally meant to be temporary eviction relief on the federal level kept getting extended, and substantial changes also came out of a special session in Richmond. Norton Pelt has compiled several important updates that landlords need to know. National Protections for Renters The majority of residential rental Read More

2020 Saw Big Changes in Virginia Marijuana Law, and Richmond Isn’t Done Yet

It’s been a little over eight years since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. In the last national election cycle, voters in four states approved cannabis legalization. While Virginia has not legalized marijuana, the possession of a small amount was decriminalized on July 1, 2020. Keep reading for more recent developments.  The Law As it Stands Right Now As of late Read More

Step-By-Step Through Virginia Probate

After the death of someone who either lived in Virginia or had real estate in the Commonwealth, someone close to him or her must begin the probate process. Probate proceedings cover the administration of an estate and, eventually, the distribution of assets and property included in the estate. If your parent, grandparent, or loved one has recently passed away, Norton Pelt extends our heartfelt sympathies. Before you Read More

What are Advance Directives, and Why Does Your Estate Plan Need One?

Most of what we think about when we hear the words “estate planning” is how our property and assets will be distributed after we pass on from this earth. Some of your estate plan, however, needs to address exactly how you want to be medically treated while you are still alive but unable to make decisions or communicate those wishes. For these unique situations, you need to strongly consider making an advance Read More