Welcome to the Law Office of Richard E. Knight
Since 1972 I have been a full-time attorney in Northern Virginia serving the legal goals and needs of my clients. My legal services to clients focuses on persons seeking counsel and advice for estate planning, family planning and estate administration.
At some point everyone should have at least a basic Will, which is the starting point for an estate plan. Most everyone knows that a Will may distribute your assets, but a basic Will can do much more.
Using a Will, a person appoints the executor of the will, whose function is to fulfill the terms of the Will. The terms of a Will are designed to speak to a person’s wishes on multiple family and financial matters when he or she has passed, and the executor is the person who is counted on to fulfill those wishes.
The Will may provide for family planning, such as selecting a Testamentary Guardian for minors, as someone has to be legally in charge of minors. The Will may provide for a Testamentary Trustee to handle assets for minors or for beneficiaries who need financial supervision. A Testamentary Trust is the planning tool to accomplish this. The client has the option of having the Testamentary trust court supervised with annual reports to the court.
For most persons, a Revocable Living Trust is the most useful long term planning tool. A Revocable Living Trust is designed to protect family relationships and family assets for more than one generation. This trust is private and is never made public, whereas a Will is a public document.
Management: The Revocable Living Trust allows a Trustor to appoint Trustees who may manage property and assets of the Trustor while he or she is living, and then distribute the assets to beneficiaries after their death. This arrangement is superior to using a Power of Attorney to have assets managed.
Distribution: Assets may be distributed to beneficiaries over time periods and with conditions, all being supervised by the Trustee after the death of the Testator. It is wise to have distribution of significant assets distributed to beneficiaries after they have matured and have the good judgment to handle their own funds. A Trustor is able to sprinkle assets among his family members over several generations, and to make unequal distributions as needed.
Major Practice Areas:
Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, Administration of Estates and Trusts, Gift and Estate Tax Planning, Wealth Preservation, Family Planning for Trusts and Estates, Selecting Testamentary Guardians and Testamentary Trustees, Real Estate law, Real Estate Law and Insurance Law.