Estate planning for a modern life.


Last Will and Testament

  • A Will is a simple instrument to pass your assets to your heirs after you die.
  • A Will can be very useful.
  • It is the Document where you choose the guardianship for your minor children, if you should pass away before your children reach the age of majority.

Unfortunately, a Will has to go through the probate process. Probate is the legal process through which the court makes sure that, when you die, your Will is legally valid, your debts are paid, and your assets are distributed according to the provisions of your Will.

Advantages of a Will

  • A Will is an inexpensive Estate Planning tool in the short term.
  • A Will is where you choose a guardian for your minor children.
  • A Will is probated under the supervision of the court.

Disadvantages of a Will

  • A Will is a much more expensive Estate Planning tool in the long run.
  • A Will goes through the probate process, and may cost your estate large amounts of expenses and fees.
  • A Will, and its probate process, will take many months or even years before it is finished.

Mistakes to avoid

A Last Will and Testament is a very important document. It should be prepared by a competent attorney, and preferably, an attorney who specializes in Wills, Trusts, and Estates.

It is a big mistake to do this yourself. If you use canned software or services on the internet, you could be creating a document that is invalid or that you do not properly understand.

Relying on an old Will or an out of state Will may cause problems for your heirs.

Often, people create a Will, and then forget about it. You should review your Will on occasion. Your Will should be valid under the laws of the State in which you live. You should make sure that the person(s) that you have chosen for Executor and Guardian are still the right person(s) for the job.

If you have an old Will, and wish to have it reviewed by a professional, then contact us.

Revocable Living Trust

A Revocable Living Trust is a tool to pass your assets to your heirs in a “protective shell”. The inheritance that your heirs receive will be available to them, but will not be available to their creditors, or ex-spouses.

A Revocable Living Trust is a useful Estate Planning Tool

A Revocable Living Trust is a simple entity which you create on paper. It can be used to avoid probate, avoid estate taxes, and to pass your assets to your heirs in a safe and efficient fashion.

A Revocable Living Trust avoids probate

When you create a Revocable Living Trust, and title your assets in the name of the trust, you no longer have assets that need to be probated. Once you have put your assets in your trust, you can still do whatever you want with your assets. You spend when you want to spend. You save when you want to save. You do whatever you want to do with your assets. However, when you die, your heirs do not have to deal with the probate process.

A Revocable Living Trust is a Will substitute

A Revocable Living Trust is a Will substitute because it describes where your assets are to be distributed when you die. All assets in the trust will be distributed as you direct in the document.

A Revocable Living Trust allows you to pass your assets to your heirs in a protected manner

A Revocable Living Trust allows you to pass your assets to your heirs “in trust”. If done properly, the assets will be protected from disasters, such as law suits and divorces… This type of trust is often referred to as a “Dynasty Trust”. Revocable Living Trusts can be used for generational planning, a way to ensure that your heirs are financially secure.

Advantages of a Revocable Living Trust

  • A Revocable Living Trust will cost more than a Will when created; however, in the long run it will save your estate much more money than it costs.
  • A Revocable Living Trust will avoid the expense and aggravations of the probate process.
  • A Revocable Living Trust can be used to pass assets to young or immature heirs under the supervision of a trusted person.
  • A Revocable Living Trust allows you to pass your assets to your heirs in a protected manner.

Estate Planning Services

At the Coppola Law Firm, we offer complete Estate Planning Services, and specialize in Revocable Living Trusts, Generational Planning, and Dynasty Trusts.

We have over twenty years experience in Wills, Trusts, and Estates.

We offer complete services to our clients, from initial meetings, to document drafting, to review and signing, to annual review of documents, and examination of law changes and how they may affect our clients.

We also have relationships with Financial Advisors and Insurance Professionals who can offer advice to you in regards to Estate Planning.

Our approach is Family Centered, and we assist clients of all ages and financial backgrounds in creating an estate plan that will assist our clients and protect their heirs.

About Us

John M.Coppola, J.D.

Partner, Acorn Estate Planning

John M.Coppola was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1989. He currently lives in Northern Virginia, and practices law principally out of his Fairfax, Virginia office of The Coppola Law Firm, PLLC.

Mr. Coppola was raised in Northern Virginia and he attended Catholic elementary school and high school in that area. In 1982, he earned a B.A. in economics from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He then attended graduate school at Boston College, earning an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing in 1984, at the age of 23.

After earning his M.B.A., Mr. Coppola returned to Northern Virginia and worked as the Assistant Director the Washington Business School, a well respected trade school. In 1985, Mr. Coppola began attending law school at American University, Washington College of Law while working full time. He earned his J.D. from American University in December 1988, and was admitted to the Bar of Virginia in 1989.

After passing the Virginia Bar, Mr. Coppola continued in his position at Washington Business School, while also taking on a few legal duties for the School. In 1996, Mr. Coppola formed a partnership with John Ryan, an Estates and Trusts lawyer and lifelong friend. Soon after forming the partnership, John Coppola began working in the area of Wills, Trusts, and Estates. Mr. Ryan has recently opened a solo practice in Reston.

Mr. Coppola has practiced law from an office in Northern Virginia since 2000 and concentrates his practice in the area of Wills, Trusts, and Estates. He has helped over 800 clients, and their families.

On January 1 of 2015, John M. Coppola opened the doors of The Coppola Firm, PLLC, located in Fairfax, Virginia. With over 20 years of experience, allow John M. Coppola to serve you and your family’s needs.

John Ryan, JD, CPA, CFA, CFP®

Partner, Acorn Estate Planning

John joined AFAS as a financial advisor in 2014, having previously worked as an advisor with Dominion Wealth Management in Reston, Virginia. John is a graduate of Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut (B.A. in Economics).

He is an attorney (J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, Athens, Georgia) with an active estate planning and tax practice. He is a member of the bars of the States of New York and Virginia. John is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He joined AFAS as a financial advisor in 2014, having previously worked as an advisor with Dominion Wealth Management in Reston, Virginia.

John is a native Washingtonian, an instrument rated pilot, an avid golfer and cyclist, and a fan of all Washington sports teams.

Jonathan Cox, J.D.

Associate Attorney, Acorn Estate Planning

Jonathan Cox was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 2017. He was born and raised in Arlington, Virginia, where he continues to reside today. He graduated from Yorktown High School and then went on to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

After finishing his undergraduate education, he matriculated at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, from which he obtained his Juris Doctorate with a concentration in tax law.

While attending law school he worked various internships spanning the areas of general civil litigation and regulatory law. He is an active member of the Virginia State Bar’s Trusts and Estates Section, and is eager to gain knowledge and experience in his chosen practice area.

Register for a Complimentary Estate Planning Seminar

Topics being discussed at seminars:

  • Assets flow through to heirs in a protected shell.
  • Avoidance of Probate.
  • Ensure assets stay in the family line.
  • Safeguarding inheritances for young heirs.
  • Making sure your plan works for you and your family.
  • Planning for your heirs to administer your Trust after you pass away.

Estate Administration Seminar

What to do after the death of a loved one.

Topics being discussed at this seminar:

  • Follow instructions provided by the deceased
  • Notify all service providers or institutions in contracts with the deceased
  • Locate all appropriate documents
  • Seek the assistance of professionals
  • Identify and transfer assets to appropriate beneficiaries or heirs
  • Identify any liabilities of the estate or trust

Wednesday May 29 and Tuesday June 11
12:00pm to 2:00pm

1875 Campus Commons Drive, Suite 100, Reston VA 20191

Please feel free to bring a friend!

Use the form on the right or call us at 703-934-4895 to register.

Acorn Estate Planning, PLLC.
1875 Campus Commons Drive
Suite 100
Reston, VA 20191
Phone 703-934-4895

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