You can’t predict the future but you can be prepared. An estate plan is one of the most important actions you can take to protect your independence and your family. While no one wants to think about their death or disability, it is important for you take steps to minimize the potential burden to your family and reduce the chance of conflict amongst your family. A thorough estate plan puts you in charge and allows you to chose the people or charities to leave your life’s work.
Why You Need Estate Planning
There are a number of reasons for planning your estate:
- People of all ages should have powers of attorney to give a trusted person the ability to make financial decisions on their behalf.
- People of all ages should have health care directive to communicate their wishes concerning end-of-life care if they are in a coma, or otherwise incapacitated, and unable to communicate for themselves.
- Parents with minor children need a will or a trust to name a guardian for their children’s person if they both should die.
- People with minor children should have a will or trust to direct how and when (at what age) their minor child should receive their inheritance.
- People who have accumulated assets such as a home and vacation property should consider placing those assets in a living trust (also known as a revocable trust) to save their beneficiaries the time and expense of a probate.
- Parents with a disabled child should consider a special needs trust to provide support for their child without making him or her ineligible for government benefits.
- An Elder person or their family member can use Medicaid planning to prevent their life savings spent on a nursing home.
What Happens If I Fail to Have an Estate Plan
The truth is you already have an estate plan. That plan is the method of distributing property set forth in the Virginia Code. That process is called Intestate Succession. So, if you fail to have a will or trust, then the Virginia Legislature has determined who will get your stuff. This rigid plan doesn’t allow you any flexibility or personal choice. It may also fail to adequately protect or provide for your family. Lack of a valid estate plan can also lead to increased conflict among your heirs. Without clearly defined executor or administrator of your estate, there may be conflict among you family as to who should be in charge. People with blended families or spouses of second marriages are particularly vulnerable. The good news is that estate planning doesn’t have to been difficult and complicated. Our experienced estate planning attorneys will help through the process and ensure your wishes are protected.
How Can We Help
Our Virginia Estate Planning Lawyers offer comprehensive estate planning and elder law services. The primary components of a basic estate plan are a Will, a Power of Attorney and an Advance Medical Directive. Some estates due to their size or special characteristics of the property or beneficiaries may require a Trust. Other pieces of property, like life insurance, do not pass through the probate process. Our Estate Planning Lawyers will explain the each one of these tools and recommend the best solution for you. To learn more about each of these estate planning tools, please click on the links below.
Non-probate Property –
What We Need From You
Each client and each estate plan in unique. Therefore, our estate planning attorneys must learn about you, your estate and your family dynamics. Step 1 is for you to complete a questionnaire. Step 2 is the initial consultation. At the consultation we will ask you some additional questions about your estate and your wishes. Step 3 we draft your documents. Step 4 we will review the documents with you to ensure accuracy. Step 5 you will sign or execute the documents.
Areas We Serve.
Chesterfield, Chester, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Fort Lee, Hopewell, Midlothian, Petersburg, Powhatan, Prince George, Richmond and Sussex.