How to Prepare to Write Your Will in Virginia

A will is a document that has far-reaching impacts, so it’s important to think carefully about what information you need before you get started. The right will can ensure that the proper person gets guardianship of any children, too.

Your will is truly the last statement you make to the world, so it goes beyond naming who gets which of your belongings. While you can make updates to your will throughout the course of your life, the terms of your will remain fixed after you pass away.

Your will should be created in line with the laws of your state of residence. To make a will in Virginia, you need to consider the following steps:

  • List out all of your property
  • List out any and all debts that you owe
  • List potential heirs who you might want to receive something that you own (include both the first and the last names)
  • Line up the assets on your list with the right heir. You do not have to distribute your belongings equally or give something to every person
  • Consider whether or not any conditions might apply to certain gifts and whether or not a trust is a better vehicle for passing those on than your will in Virginia
  • Choose a guardian for any minor children
  • Review this list to make sure you haven’t missed any details

Many people overlook the opportunity to discuss your intended plans with a lawyer, but this can be a big help when you’re concerned about many aspects of your estate plan. An attorney can review your details and point out any information you missed and whether or not there are other and better ways to accomplish your specific goals.

Don’t wait to reach out to a lawyer about creating your will in Virginia. It’s an important first step towards protecting your future.

How to Prepare to Write Your Will in Virginia

A will is a document that has far-reaching impacts, so it’s important to think carefully about what information you need before you get started. The right will can ensure that the proper person gets guardianship of any children, too.

Your will is truly the last statement you make to the world, so it goes beyond naming who gets which of your belongings. While you can make updates to your will throughout the course of your life, the terms of your will remain fixed after you pass away.

Your will should be created in line with the laws of your state of residence. To make a will in Virginia, you need to consider the following steps:

  • List out all of your property
  • List out any and all debts that you owe
  • List potential heirs who you might want to receive something that you own (include both the first and the last names)
  • Line up the assets on your list with the right heir. You do not have to distribute your belongings equally or give something to every person
  • Consider whether or not any conditions might apply to certain gifts and whether or not a trust is a better vehicle for passing those on than your will in Virginia
  • Choose a guardian for any minor children
  • Review this list to make sure you haven’t missed any details

Many people overlook the opportunity to discuss your intended plans with a lawyer, but this can be a big help when you’re concerned about many aspects of your estate plan. An attorney can review your details and point out any information you missed and whether or not there are other and better ways to accomplish your specific goals.

Don’t wait to reach out to a lawyer about creating your will in Virginia. It’s an important first step towards protecting your future.

Three Steps You Can Take to Add Asset Protection Planning to Your Virginia Estate Plan

Have you thought about the possibility of your assets being subjected to outside risks or threats? This could include lawsuits filed by other parties or potential creditor claims.

There are several different steps you can take with the help of an experienced Virginia asset protection planning lawyer to incorporate asset protection planning strategies that are legal and helpful. There are several simple steps that you can take to reduce your assets’ vulnerability to attack from potential creditors. Some of the most important include:

  • A review of your liability insurance policies to verify that you have appropriate coverage in place for your risks and assets.
  • Ensuring that your assets have been properly titled, such that they cannot be easily attached and accessed by creditors.
  • The use of tools such as a limited liability company to hold certain assets.

Asset protection planning involves using a forward-thinking approach to discourage potential creditors from initiating a lawsuit to begin with, or helping you when a lawsuit has already been initiated.

The best time to use Virginia asset protection planning is now. Waiting until a lawsuit has already been filed limits the way in which you can respond to this risk. It’s better to plan ahead and guard against the possibility of future issues.

A consultation with a lawyer can help you figure out what strategies and tools might be used for your individual situation to give you peace of mind. If you’re ready to take the next step with a holistic estate planning, find a Virginia Beach lawyer to help you put together your plan.

 

 

Is Your Family Ready for Worst Case Scenarios?

It’s difficult for plenty of people to think about complex subjects like elder law or estate planning but the need for estate planning can hit you out of the blue when you start contemplating possible worst case scenarios.

From establishing a will to ensure that there’s someone to care for your minor children, if you or your spouse are no longer able to do so or putting together a health care directive so that others are aware of your intentions and goals can ensure that an emergency or crisis happens, that you’ve already expressed your wishes. As your life changes, your estate plan can evolve too.

Although it’s easy to put off planning, there can be significant consequences if a sudden disability, accident or long term care crisis strikes your family.

If you don’t have an estate plan in place, you’re leaving it up to the courts to determine what happens to your belongings and you’re also putting all of your loved ones in a difficult situation when it comes to determining what is best for your medical care and future needs.

If you have specific wishes, for example, about life prolonging care, explaining this in a written document that is a legally valid written document, gives you a chance to express your wishes and to make it easier for your loved ones to avoid conflict in the wake of a serious crisis.

Schedule a consultation with a Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer to discuss many of the different tools, documents and strategies that can be used to give you peace of mind about your future.

 

 

What Rights Does an Interested Person Have in Virginia?

Under the laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia, interested persons are those who are named in the last will and testament or are heirs to an estate. In most cases, interested parties in a Virginia estate will be kept informed about any court required notices such as when a person has been appointed to serve as an executor.

A knowledgeable Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer can help you understand your rights as an interested person and the limitations of your rights. Whether or not a person has any rights related to a Virginia estate, depends on whether or not they are an heir of the assets as well as what that person is entitled to.

If you have a concern or a question about how an executor or a personal representative is currently administering an estate, it is important to bring this concern or question to the attention of the either your Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer or the court in a timely fashion.

This can increase the chances of resolution of the conflict and better position you with an understanding of your rights. It can also be extremely helpful for you to conduct an individual review of the law with regard to probate. If you have not been kept properly informed and believe that you are entitled to be kept informed about the status of an estate, you need to consult with a lawyer immediately.

Could a Trust Help New Parents Plan for the Future?

Looking ahead to the future and adding a new child makes it even more important for you to consider how estate planning factors into the big picture. Becoming a parent means taking on a completely new level of responsibility and while it seems like the number of tasks on your to-do list could be endless, it’s very important to ensure that making an estate plan shows up at the top of the priority list.

There are several different things you can do to give yourself peace of mind and confidence that your child is cared for. These include making a will and naming a guardian for your children, buying life insurance, updating beneficiary forms of retirement plans and other documents and considering setting up a trust.

In the event that you were to pass away before your children turn age 18, a trust is an important estate planning document because children cannot directly take control of any inheritance that you leave behind.

The court could end up having to appoint someone to manage those assets that you leave behind to your children and this could also be an unfortunate situation since your new 18-year-old would then have the potential to inherit a lot of property and money. It is far better to ensure that you exercise some level of control by putting together a trust.

This will allow you to determine how your money and property should be used, specifying who is responsible for managing the assets and identifying when your children should be able to receive a transfer of wealth. Schedule a consultation with an experienced Virginia estate planning lawyer to learn more about how trusts can become the cornerstone of your new estate plan.

What Is Settlor Capacity in a Virginia Trust?

There are various rules and regulations associated with what it takes to make a will valid in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Some of these include that the settlor must indicate his or her intention to create the trust, the trust has to have a definite beneficiary, a trustee must be named in the role of managing the trust, and there must be a person named as the trustee to manage the trust.

One other required aspect of establishing a Virginia trust is to ensure that the settlor has appropriate capacity to use this estate planning tool. Settlor is a term used to refer to the person who creates the trust for a beneficiary. The trust will create a trust by splitting property title into different interests and then the settlor imposes fiduciary duties on those newly created interests.

The settlor must have the appropriate mental capacity to create a trust in order for it to be viewed as valid. This means that the settlor must not have any diminished or compromised mental health at the time of creating this document.

The only exception to this rule about a settlor’s capacity is when a trust is created by the settlor’s agent through a power of attorney. In this particular situation, a Virginia estate planning lawyer should be used to ensure that the power of attorney expressly authorizes that agent to create a trust on the settlor’s behalf.

With many different types of trusts to consider using in your estate planning process, a lawyer can help you discuss which of these is best for your situation.

Schedule a consultation with a Virginia estate planning lawyer to discuss the benefits of creating a trust and how to generate and implement one meeting the state regulations.

 

 

How Does Asset Protection Planning Fit into Your Virginia Estate?

Asset protection planning refers to the proactive steps that you take to protect your current assets from future divorce, judgements, lawsuits or creditors. There are many different legal techniques that can be used to help protect these assets or even deter people from filing a lawsuit in the first place. You can also obtain settlement negotiation power using asset protection planning and prevent the seizure of any of your assets in the event that a judgement occurs.

A thorough legal and professional examination is required to incorporate asset protection planning into your Virginia estate. This includes a conversation about your family goals, your personal objectives, the overall risks you are currently facing, your asset inventory and your financial situation.

Simple financial privacy might be at the foundation of judgement proof asset protection planning, however, this planning can also be customized based on the comfort level, risk mitigation strategies and assets associated with the family or individual seeking protection.

There are many different ways to approach asset protection planning but the most effective is to put it in place well before the need arises. Attempting to engage in asset protection planning after a lawsuit is already filed is likely to backfire.

Scheduling a consultation with an experienced Virginia asset protection planning attorney can help you to put a plan in place that is much more effective for anyone who has the foresight to set them up before a lawsuit strikes. Asset protection is an important component of your overall estate plan and should be something top of mind for you.

Talk to an estate planning lawyer in Virginia Beach for more information.

 

 

What Are the Most Common Types of Virginia Trusts?

Careful consideration and time must be put into the process of establishing a Virginia trust. There are seven main types of trusts that you might choose to use as part of your estate planning.

As a person planning their estate in Virginia, you have many different strategies available to you, including using lifetime gifts, transferring property and putting together a will. Establishing a trust is one of the most important solutions you can use for estate planning needs. Your Virginia estate planning attorney might recommend one or a combination of the following trusts to help you.:

 

  • Revocable or irrevocable living trusts.
  • Ongoing trusts, such as a QTIP, disability or pet trust.
  • Tax saving trusts like a GRAT.
  • Education trusts which is different from Virginia’s 529 plan.
  • Charitable trusts.
  • Family trusts, such as a family pot trust or a child’s trust.
  • Discretionary trusts.

How you choose to decide the best way to protect your estate is up to you and there are many different choices and avenues available to you. The support of an attorney who will work with you based on your personal circumstances and needs can make this process that much easier.

What you select for your Virginia trust will plan on your current status with your estate plan, your overarching goals, and what you hope to accomplish with your estate planning.

Trillions of Dollars Will Be Transferred Soon. Are You Ready?

High net worth wealth transfer is top of line for many estate planning and asset protection planning attorneys today. Across the world, more than $8.6 trillion in high net worth wealth will change hands in the coming decades. Nearly 40% of today’s high net worth investors are over age 60, and many of them will need to consider involving the next generation in the estate planning process.

High net worth families have unique concerns and questions to bring to the table with regard to leveraging tax strategies, protecting their assets from creditors, and other potential risks, and deciding how to support other efforts like their philanthropic goals through the means of estate planning.

Your family members might not be prepared for how to handle a major inheritance- this is where using tools like trusts can help you to accomplish your primary goals with estate planning and minimizing the risk of squandering those assets.

Even if you have a smaller estate, don’t overlook the opportunities to get organized and plan for a smooth transition of your assets. In the wake of coping with all the details of losing a loved one, your family members don’t need the additional stress of attempting to figure out what you intended. You can protect the value inside your estate and

Scheduling a consultation with an experienced Virginia estate planning lawyer is a great place to start if your estate planning has become extremely complex and you would like insight on how to properly leverage the passage of this transfer.