Estate planning involves more than avoiding probate and estate taxes. Probate can be avoided by using Revocable Living Trusts. Estate taxes are not a concern for most U.S. taxpayers with the gift and estate tax exemption now at $11.4 million per person. Because of “portability,” a husband and wife can either gift or pass upon death $22.8 without paying any gift or estate tax, regardless of how assets are titled among spouses. But there are many other reasons for a comprehensive estate plan. For example, parents who have a child with special needs want the child’s inheritance to be protected so that any available government assistance remains in place despite the child’s inheritance. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 15% of US minor children have special needs. Absent the proper trust, the special needs child’s inherited assets would negatively affect government assistance eligibility. The key to drafting a special needs trust is to avoid the typical “ascertainable standards” prevalent in standard trusts. These ascertainable standards are “health, education, maintenance and support” – words within the trust world, interpreted by courts and commentators, that provide distribution guidelines for trustees. A special needs trust would not use ascertainable standards. In contrast, the special needs trust terms must expressly prohibit distributions that would disqualify the beneficiary from receiving government support. The trustee must have sole and broad discretion to distribute all or none of the trust income and principal. Thus, selecting a trustee in any trust is critical, but even more so with a special needs trust.
Coming up in December, John Dedon will be recognized in two prominent local publications. Washingtonian Magazine again names John as a 2023 Top Lawyer in the Trust and Estates category. Washingtonian Magazine chooses Top Lawyers by surveying local lawyers asking them whom they would trust if they needed legal counsel themselves. Northern Virginia Magazine also… Read »
In the March 2022 publication, John Dedon was again chosen by his peers and Washingtonian Magazine as one of the “Top Financial Advisors,” in the Estate Attorney section, for Virginia, Maryland and the District. John has been selected consistently for over a decade, and is routinely named as well for Washingtonian’s “Top Lawyers.”
In the December 2020 issue, John Dedon is again recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as a Top Trusts and Estates Attorney. Washingtonian Magazine chooses Best Lawyers by surveying nearly 1,000 attorneys recognized on a prior year’s list, asking whom they consider best among their peers. Coming up in the January 2021 issue, John will also again… Read »
I was recently interviewed regarding fundamental estate planning needs and the appropriate tools to accomplish your objectives. Below is the link to the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPP6wiPj6H0
Last month, John Dedon received two important and continuing recognitions as a Top Attorney in the financial planning and estate planning areas of law. Northern Virginia Magazine named John a Top Lawyer in the financial area of law. Top Lawyers by Northern Virginia Magazine is an annual peer-reviewed list based on surveys of other lawyers’… Read »
For Our First Meeting
About Revocable Trusts
John P. Dedon
John P. Dedon is a tax lawyer with a talent for explaining the complexities of tax law in lay terms. Working in the estate planning, asset protection and business areas for more than 35 years, John helps clients preserve assets and plan for the future with traditional planning tools, including Trusts (dynasty trusts, intentionally defective trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts), LLC and partnership entities, and cutting-edge concepts such as cryonic preservation trusts.
Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating/Top Rated Estate and Taxation Lawyer
Consecutive years named Washingtonian Best Lawyers; Best Lawyers in America® for Trusts and Estates; Washingtonian Magazine’s Top Wealth/Financial Advisor; Top Lawyer and Top Financial Professional by Northern Virginia Magazine.