We serve individuals, families, and businesses in estate planning, civil litigation, criminal defense, landlord-tenant, and other matters. We offer meetings by appointment only in Fairfax, Arlington, and Washington, DC.
Bergstrom Attorneys PLLC serve clients from their offices in Arlington, Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and surrounding area. The firm's practice areas include estate planning, criminal defense, business law, contracts, landlord-tenant, and administrative law. Our attorneys have served small and large clients locally and abroad in personal and business matters. We serve a diverse clientele thanks to the breadth of our cumulative talents.
Operating as usual
From the Wall Street Journal: Various services off you the possibility of storing your documents and important information so your heirs will access to what they need to understand the estate you leave.“I could draft the most beautiful estate plan in the world, but if your heirs don’t know where the documents are and they don’t know they even exist, it’s useless.”
A Digital Vault to Store Information for Your Heirs Online vaults can hold the location of your will, bank-account numbers, ongoing subscriptions, recipes—anything your heirs will find useful.
Beware of do-it-yourself wills! Whether you seek your own estate plan, or if you're dealing with another person's estate, consult a lawyer to ensure a last will and testament is valid and free from undue influence.
Larry King: Talk show host's widow contests handwritten will Shawn Southwick King claims the US TV legend was "of questionable mental capacity" when he signed.
In her new documentary, "E-Ternal: A Tech Quest to ‘Live’ Forever," WSJ’s Joanna Stern travels across the world to examine how technology can be used to preserve our life stories when we die.
wsjplus.com Join WSJ's personal tech columnist for a discussion about preserving our life stories and the new documentary “E-Ternal: A Tech Quest to 'Live' Forever"
Do you have an advance medical directive to provide instructions on the medical treatment you wish to receive? This article provides important advice and reflects Bergstrom Attorneys' approach.
How (and Whether) to Give Heirs Their Inheritance Before You Die, from the Wall Street Journal:
"... recent changes in the tax code make it easier to gift money to heirs before you pass on. In 2020, the “annual exclusion” is $15,000; in other words, you can give as much as $15,000 to as many individuals as you wish (and your spouse can, too) without triggering any gift taxes. What’s more, the lifetime exemption from gift and estate taxes increases to $11.58 million in 2020 from $11.4 million in 2019.
Still, it is worth pausing before you begin parceling out your estate. First, you need to make sure you won’t need any of that money to take care of yourself, keeping in mind the six-figure amounts that some retirees wind up spending on long-term care or simply on basic health-care expenses.
(A 65-year-old couple who retired in 2019, with a life expectancy of about 21 years for the husband and about 23 years for the wife, can expect to spend $285,000 in health care and medical expenses throughout retirement—not including the cost of long-term care, according to Fidelity Investments.) If you still expect to have money left over, you might want to consider something more meaningful than simply writing a check: funding family vacations, college tuition, medical bills, house down payments, or startup capital for a small business—contributions that could have a major impact on your children’s or grandchildren’s lives in your lifetime. We spoke with a couple in Texas who, after retiring, bought a travel trailer with part of their savings. They used their home on wheels to introduce their five grandchildren to swaths of the country, including New York, the Grand Canyon and California—on monthlong trips. I can only imagine the memories that the grandparents and the grandchildren all have.
The grandmother put it this way: “I think you need to share your money as you go, not just stick it all in the bank and not ever use it.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-retiree-choice-give-some-of-it-away-early-11582647993?mod=hp_listb_pos3
wsj.com Ask Encore: Retirement columnist Glenn Ruffenach also discusses Social Security benefits for divorcees.
wsj.com Knowing what will happen to a piece of property before its owner becomes ill or dies can help families avoid relationship rifts and lengthy litigation.
Contact Bergstrom Attorneys to discuss your concerns with pre-marital agreements.
chicagotribune.com "Young people today have more expectations for what they want in a partner," said Vicki Larson, co-author of "The New I Do."
This article that might lead people to reconsider what property to distribute in their estate plans. https://www3.forbes.com/investing/your-top-10-objects-your-kids-dont-want/?utm_source=FacebookTest1&utm_medium=kw84647d1us&lcid=kw84647d1us&utm_content=3&utm_campaign=your-top-10-objects-your-kids-dont-&kwp_0=1107590&fbclid=IwAR3YLM4aHeD1g94IOTn-V1DvpfMFb2QfhWrFi51DEIE5whSWK6dDTcADL24
www3.forbes.com Your house, and what it contains, is a minefield in the eyes of your grown children. They can see from your example that collections of stuff are a curse; such objects are superfluous to a life well lived. They want a clean, clear field in which to live their lives. Your grown children will not agre
We do prepare powers of attorney, wills, trusts, LLCs, etc., but we do not bite.
". . . the blockchain and cryptocurrency space has reached the point at which regulators are no longer willing to overlook bad actors," writes our attorney Michael W. Zarlenga in his latest blog.
bergstromattorneys.com By Michael W. Zarlenga, Esq.* On February 15th, I flew into Dallas Fort Worth Airport to attend the Bitcoin, Ethereum & Blockchain Superconference at the DFW Marriott. Over two days, there were a series of speakers and break out discussions on everything from investing in cryptocurrencies to the cur...
A recent Wall Street Journal featured the emerging trend of customized caskets. Bergstrom Attorneys PLLC hope you find inspiration to prepare your estate plan--whatever it might be, custom casket or not. Perhaps you want to make special plans for your memorial, or you want to protect assets for loved ones, or you might wish to have contingency plans ready in case you can't manage your own affairs due to an illness or emergency. An estate plan should protect you in your lifetime and help your loved ones inherit in the best manner possible. Contact us to discuss your estate planning concerns, questions, and goals. To read the The Wall Street Journal article, visit this link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/going-out-in-style-custom-caskets-bring-joy-to-lifes-saddest-ritual-1516894349
bergstromattorneys.com Deer antlers, sports mascots, photographs, music . . . all features found in the growing number of customized caskets, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps this article will inspire you. Unfortunately, any reminder of mortality leads many people to avoid estate planning....
Zarlenga's latest blog: "SEC Issues Statement on Cryptocurrency Funds; SEC Chairman Admonishes Securities Lawyers" #blockchain #cryptocurrency #sec
bergstromattorneys.com By: Michael W. Zarlenga* In my December 13, 2017 Blog, I asked whether statements in early December by the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Investment Management foreshadowed possible SEC intent to regulate the trading of tokens and other cryptocurrencies in a s...
bergstromattorneys.com Documents You Need When a Child Turns 18 is a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, and it reinforced a belief Bergstrom Attorneys has embraced: estate planning is relevant to everyone, regardless of age, health, or wealth. The fact is, an 18-year-old is no longer a child, and in many respects....
bergstromattorneys.com The Federal Bar Association has produced a webinar entitled, Introduction to Blockchain Systems & Challenges for Advising Client. The program was presented by Matthew Bergstrom and Michael Zarlenga, both lawyers from Bergstrom Attorneys PLLC. The presentation first aired live on December 15, 2017, a...
Health care power of attorney (Advance Medical Directive), HIPAA authorization, financial power of attorney, and even an education record release are documents your 18+ year-old child should have--for the sake of the child and the parents. https://www.wsj.com/articles/documents-you-need-when-a-child-turns-18-1511972303
wsj.com Parents who want access to information on an adult child’s health, finances or college grades need the child’s permission in writing.
Michael W. Zarlenga and Matthew Bergstrom of Bergstrom Attorneys PLLC presented "Introduction to Blockchain Technology and Challenges of Advising Clients" in a webinar today for the Federal Bar Association.
Bergstrom Attorneys represents clients in blockchain and related technology and finances.
bergstromattorneys.com By: Michael W. Zarlenga* On December 11, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made public three important documents related to ICOs and cryptocurrency ecosystems. The first was the public release of an order instituting a cease-and-desist proceeding against Munchees, Inc., a restaurant...
A properly drafted Advance Medical Directive, rather than a tattoo, as in this case, can formally express your wishes about medical care, and, if you're incapacitated, it can also authorize other people to discuss your confidential health care information with your doctor. Bergstrom Attorneys PLLC prepares AMD's, typically as part of a complete estate plan. Every person, regardless of age, health, or wealth should consider an AMD. https://www.local10.com/health/miami-doctors-face-dilemma-over-do-not-resuscitate-tattoo
local10.com A newly published study explored the ethical and medical conundrums faced by a Florida hospital over a patient's "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo.
arlnow.com Scammers are calling Northern Virginia residents, claiming to represent Virginia State Police and demanding money. VSP is warning about the scam, saying it never collects fines over the phone. Those who get a call from a scammer are encouraged to hang up immediately. More from a VSP press rele
Have you been ripped off in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia?
Each of these jurisdictions have laws to protect consumers, and Bergstrom Attorneys represents clients in making consumer protection claims.
For example, The Virginia Consumer Protection Act promotes "fair and ethical standards of dealings between suppliers and the consuming public.” It covers a wide array of situations including:
- Advertising or sale of goods or services for personal or household uses
- Advertising or sale of business opportunities requiring a person’s money or property and personal services
- Advertising or sale of goods or services relating to finding or obtaining a job
- Layaway agreements
Under the Act consumers may file complaints for a variety of violations, such as:
- Misrepresentation of goods or services
- Misrepresentation of the geographic origin of a good or service
- Misrepresentation of quantities, uses, ingredients, or benefits
- Advertising used goods without disclosing they are not new
- Failure to sell goods or services for the advertised price
- Selling defective drywall for homes
- Knowingly selling or offering to sell a children’s product that has been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Bear in mind, the violation must be a statement of fact, not an opinion. Claims must be brought within two years of the wrongful act.
Contact Bergstrom Attorneys to discuss your consumer protection claim. You may contact us at 703-291-8838.
Bergstrom Attorneys are proud to welcome Virginia attorney Jon Hays to our law practice. Jon is licensed by the Virginia State Bar. His areas of legal practice include civil litigation, criminal defense, family law, and government benefits.
He graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2013. As a veteran of both the US Marine Corps and the US Army, and as a distinguished law student, Jon's peers elected him President of the Veterans Law Caucus, which assisted in the creation and operation of the Veterans Assistance Project. This project was the first time a law school and a Veterans Affairs facility teamed up to provide free civil legal services on a continual basis to Veterans. During law school, Jon earned an extraordinary amount of practical experience in the law as a Legal Graduate Assistant for WVU Student Legal Services and as an Extern with the Veterans Legal Project in cooperation with Legal Aid West Virginia. Jon was also a member of the Lugar Trial Advocacy Competition team at several national level Trial competitions.
During his five years of active duty in the Marine Corps as a Radio Repairer, Jon was stationed in Camp Pendleton, California, Richmond, Virginia and MCB Quantico, Virginia. While at Quantico, Jon actively engaged in community service as a volunteer with the Young Marine program and as a volunteer fireman in Occoquan, Woodbridge, and Lorton.
Following the Marine Corps, Jon earned his BS in Political Science and Leadership at Old Dominion University, where he was a Student Senator, Chairman of External Affairs for the Student Government Association, and founder of the Gamma Tau Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. He also participated in Model United Nations and ROTC. Upon graduation, Jon was commissioned in the Virginia Army National Guard the same day. He was immediately deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving in Afghanistan from February to November of 2009.
Jon's hometown is Virginia Beach. He now lives with his wife in Ashburn, Virginia.
Contact Bergstrom Attorneys PLLC to discuss a new or existing LLC to protect yourself in the business world. https://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/5-reasons-why-an-llc-is-the-right-structure-for-your-startup.html
inc.com Limited Liability Corporations (or LLCs) are very attractive to the early stage startup. Not only do they prevent double taxation but they're also easy to start.
wsj.com Many people wait until it’s too late, and leave a mess to their heirs.
Beware Jury Duty Scammers: From: Another scammer who claims to be serving an arrest warrant for a supposed jury duty mix-up is targeting Arlington residents.
A reader said a man claiming to be a Sgt. Jimmy Jackson with the Arlington County Police Department called her saying there was a warrant out for her arrest due to the mix-up. Police reported a similar scam earlier this year.
Unlike previous scams, the reader said the caller did not ask for money right away, but instead stated that they had to schedule an in-person affidavit. He said the money paid for reserving a time block would be refunded at a future court appearance.
Although the scammer name drops Arlington General District Court clerk Steven Robert Spurr and Chief Judge William T. Newman from Arlington Circuit Court, police said the badge number he cites — No. 3319 — is fake.
Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said no badge number begins with the digits 33, and that police and the courts will never ask for money over the phone. Savage added that any information for jury duty will always be sent by mail or email. She also encouraged any victims of fraud to report it at the county’s online reporting system.
arlnow.com Another scammer who claims to be serving an arrest warrant for a supposed jury duty mix-up is targeting Arlington residents. A reader said a man claiming to be a Sgt. Jimmy Jackson with the Arlington County Police Department called her saying there was a warrant out for her arrest due to the mix-
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Contact The Sprano Law Firm husband-wife team for a free consultation. If you have been charged with a crime, your freedom and future are in jeopardy.
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