While none of us ever wants to think about our lives ending, it is inevitable. Being prepared means making sure we have provided for our loved ones after we are gone. There are several estate planning tools which can ensure our assets are distributed in a timely manner as well as ensuring our loved ones are not burdened by heavy taxes after we are gone.
Wills and Trusts
A simple will may or may not be the best option for you; there are many different types of trusts and ways to provide the most protection for your family once you are gone. We have helped people in Hampton Roads handle all their estate planning needs to ensure their property is distributed to their heirs after their passing. Call us to today to schedule a consultation to review what is best for you and your family.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court handles all probate matters in Virginia. Depending on the value of the decedent’s assets or the documents in place at the time of death, their estate may not need to go through the probate process. Contact us today to find out how to avoid probate! However, if not properly planned for any estate valued at more than $50,000 or where the assets in the estate are jointly owned, have transfer on death assignments, or have beneficiaries (such as life insurance or retirement accounts) will go through the probate court. In the event the decedent died intestate (with no will) the assets will be distributed in accordance with state law. We can assist with the probate process regardless of the circumstances and assist survivors in dealing with final reporting and other requirements of probate.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives a person designated by the maker the right to make certain decisions in the event of the maker’s incapacity. The agent can make financial decisions and has a fiduciary duty to serve the best interests of the maker. Durable powers of attorney may be used to deal with health care decisions and are often used in conjunction with a living will. A power of attorney must have specific language indicating what authority the person has to make decisions since Virginia courts use a strict reading of the power of attorney. We can review why and how these documents can benefit you and your loved ones – just give us a call today.
When you have specific wishes as to what medical care you should receive, your agent named in your durable power of attorney needs to know what those wishes are. This is typically done using a living will – a specific legal document outlining your wishes. Without a living will, family members will not be able to direct your medical care in the event you are unable to make decisions on your own due to an accident, condition which renders you unable to communicate, or because you have lost control of your facilities because of aging. Don’t wait until it’s too late, call us today.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to receive your personal plan that will address the options available to you based on your unique concerns. The estate services we provide include Wills, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Minors’ Trusts, Life Insurance Trusts, Retirement Trusts, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directives, HIPAA Authorizations, and Tax Planning.