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VIEDA’s Enterprise and Commercial Zone Commission to host local estate planning conferences

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – February 22, 2015 – To help reduce the amount of vacant buildings within the U.S. Virgin Islands’ enterprise zones that need to be revitalized, the general public – including residents and business owners of properties within the enterprise zones of Christiansted, Frederiksted, Savanne-Downstreet and Garden Street-Upstreet – will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding about estate planning. Percival E. Clouden, chief executive officer of the V.I. Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), announces that the VIEDA’s Enterprise and Commercial Zone Commission (ECZC) will host its annual free estate planning conferences on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Great Hall at the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix; and on Thursday, February 26, 2015 in Bethania Hall at the Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church at 5057 Norre Gade on St. Thomas. Both conferences will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The ECZC will offer these conferences to provide attendees with invaluable information on basic estate planning options and information on the probate process in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The attendees will also learn why estate planning is important, particularly for blighted and distressed neighborhoods.

According to CEO Clouden, “This year, the ECZC continues to use these conferences as avenues for residents and local business owners within our enterprise zones to explore the best estate planning options that are available. We strongly encourage members of our community to attend in order to receive answers to their questions concerning estate planning and the rehabilitation of vacant buildings within the enterprise zones.”

During the conferences, legal professionals will be part of a panel discussion and will lead breakout sessions to provide answers to common questions such as 1) What should I do if I don’t have a will or a trust ?; 2) I have a will, but are there other ways to plan my estate ?; 3) My property has multiple owners and some are deceased, and the deceased owners did not have a will. What should I do ?; and 4) There is a will, so how do I avoid a lengthy probate process ?

The Enterprise and Commercial Zone Commission is one of four entities under the V.I. Economic Development Authority. Originally created by V.I. legislation in 1999 as the Enterprise Zone Commission, this entity was renamed as the Enterprise and Commercial Zone Commission by V.I. legislation in May 2014 with the inclusion of the Commercial Zone Program. The ECZC provides incentives and tax credits for individuals to do business and create jobs for residents within the designated enterprise zones of Christiansted and Frederiksted on St. Croix, Savanne-Downstreet and Garden Street-Upstreet on St. Thomas. The ECZC program also helps residents rehabilitate their homes that are located within the enterprise zones. This program also helps to revitalize the economy and the physical appearance of blighted and severely distressed areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Due to space limitations, pre-registration is required. To register for the conference on St. Croix, contact Enterprise Zone Commission Specialist Deray Calixte at 340.773.6499, ext. 247. To register for the conference on St. Thomas, contact Enterprise Zone Specialist Raheem Smith at 340.714.1700, ext. 253.

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