You might be thinking, what is the point of having a will if it is not something you can benefit from during your lifetime? Yet, do you know what happens to your assets if you pass away without a will in place? Dying intestate means you do not decide where your assets go. The Commonwealth of Virginia will decide for you, splitting your assets between your children and your spouse, if applicable. For these reasons and more, planning for your future is essential. Take the first step and visit our simple will attorneys in Norfolk, Virginia to have your will tailored to your specific needs.
Creating a will is a serious endeavor and will mean so much to your loved ones following your passing. They will know your wishes and desires concerning any assets and be able to distribute them accordingly. Why risk something so important by attempting to create a will on your own that may not meet all your needs and the legal requirements of your state?
We recommend you consider using a Norfolk, Virginia attorney for several reasons. First, a wills attorney has experience and knowledge surrounding wills and testaments. They know what to include and how to precisely word each section to meet all legal requirements. They also can recommend other essential documents for estate planning.
Much like with contracts under business law, simple mistakes or omissions can create problems with the execution of a will. State-specific requirements exist and serve to govern whether a will is valid or not. For example, in Virginia, wills have specific requirements for witnesses and notary seals in order to be legally valid. Without these done correctly, the Court may not accept your will. Such flaws can lead to heartbreak and frustration for loved ones trying to adhere to your wishes.
In addition, everyone is unique in their number and type of assets. Because of this, no one-size-fits-all template can adequately meet every person’s needs. Your situation can be completely different or more complex than another person’s situation. For example, you may have retirement accounts that need special attention as well as other asset allocations. Your wills lawyer will know how to proceed and tailor the document to your particular needs and circumstances. You can limit the strain of the probate process by seeking these legal services as early as possible.
A will can be considered indefinitely valid as long as all legal requirements are met. However, it is important to note that if laws change in the state you are in, it might affect your will. Working with a Norfolk, Virginia attorney can keep you up to date on any necessary changes required to keep your last will and testament valid.
There may be times, such as divorce or the death of a spouse, when a will needs modification. This act may invalidate sections of the original will or the entire document. You may not need to create an entirely new legal document to change a section or provision of a will. At such times, it is beneficial to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer to help you keep the majority of the formalized will intact.
At some point, you may also decide to replace an old will with a new one. If so, the new will must include specific language of intent that serves to invalidate older versions. In other words, it revokes any previously created will.
In addition to a will, consider creating a power of attorney. A power of attorney allows a designated person to act on your behalf. Essentially, it is a legal form authorizing another to take action on healthcare, financial, or legal matters for you should you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions.
There are two types to consider, both beneficial and highly recommended in Norfolk, Virginia.
A general power of attorney authorizes a person to make both financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The person chosen can sign checks and other documents, make bank deposits, deal with any legal issue, and protect assets while adhering to your wishes. A medical power of attorney allows the designated person to make medical decisions for you and provide consent to treatment and ongoing care when needed.
For each of these, you can limit the abilities of your designees or give them full decision-making power.
Three options to consider in your Virginia estate planning include wills, living wills, and trusts. Knowing which of these will best fit your circumstances and preferences is essential.
Wills can be simple or complex, depending on your particular needs. They are estate planning tools that allow you to be clear about your wishes for your estate. With a will, you proactively arrange for the management and distribution of your assets and possessions.
A living will, or medical directive, allows you to give specific instructions concerning how you want medical care carried out in the event that you are incapacitated, near the end of your life, and require life support measures.
Establishing a living trust allows you to combine assets, transferring all of them into the name of the trust to manage instead of continuing to do so under your own name. Trust documents also identify beneficiaries.
Drafting any of these legal documents can be a challenge. One of our Norfolk estate planning attorneys can help determine which option is right for you and guide you through the requirements to meet your legal needs.
Unfortunately, we cannot foresee the future. Having your affairs in order can help your family members after your passing. You can also gain peace of mind by creating an estate plan and knowing how your assets will be distributed. Make sure your assets go to the people you want instead of where the Commonwealth will send them.
Regardless of your age and family status, an estate plan is beneficial in a number of ways. Such a plan consists of prepared documents specifying how your assets are to be handled upon your death. It may include just a few legal documents or require several. Specific purposes for having an estate plan include:
In addition, by having a will and other legal documents in place, you can help your designated administrator better serve your wishes and take on the responsibilities of estate administration once you are gone. The more direction you can give, the easier that role will be and the higher likelihood that your wishes will be met.
Are you looking for an experienced attorney to create your simple will and estate plan? The attorneys at the law firm of Montagna Law in Norfolk, Virginia are here to assist you. We offer compassion, years of experience, and affordability. We value you and look forward to providing you with the legal representation you need.
Estate planning can bring you peace of mind while also making the process easier for loved ones. Retaining control of how your assets will be distributed in the future starts with creating a simple will. To get started, contact the Montagna Law law firm and schedule an appointment for a consultation. We have an office conveniently located in Norfolk, Virginia. Call 757-622-8100 or submit the online contact form today!
We proudly serve the Hampton Roads area with additional practice areas (e.g., personal injury) and law offices in Newport News and Virginia Beach.