Virginia Wills Attorney
Preparing for end of life is a morbid topic for many Virginians, which is perhaps why so many have not taken action to prepare a will. According to AARP, just 40 percent of Americans have executed this essential estate planning document, though age has a significant impact on the statistics. Almost two-thirds of baby boomers and 81 percent of individuals aged 72 or older do have a will, but the numbers are far lower for other adults. The reasons people have not created wills are varied, ranging from believing they are too young or thinking they are too poor – to simply not getting around to the process.
You might be surprised to learn that most of these reasons do not hold water and can actually harm your interests, as well as those of your loved ones. Our lawyers at the MichieHamlett Law Firm can explain the adverse consequences, advise you on creating a will, and assist with preparation. Please contact us to set up a consultation with a Virginia wills attorney today. You might also benefit from reviewing some general information about the relevant laws.
Role of a Will in Virginia Estate Planning
A will is one of the fundamental components of a comprehensive estate plan, as it enables you to achieve multiple goals:
- You name a person to act as your executor for purposes of managing your assets, handling distributions to beneficiaries, paying creditors, and other tasks.
- You can bequest specific items to individuals as beneficiaries, and name individuals you want to receive the “residue” of your estate, i.e., any assets or amounts not specifically devised to someone.
- You can appoint someone to act as guardian of minor children;
- You may waive the requirement that your executor purchase a surety bond, which would otherwise be necessary under Virginia law.
- If you have a trust or other estate planning, you can use your will to accomplish the arrangement. An example is a “pour over” will, which transfers your assets at death directly to a trust.
Without a will, Virginia law governs these factors. The statutes dictate who will act as your personal representative, the beneficiaries that receive your assets, and which individuals will serve as guardians.
How a Lawyer Can Assist with Will Preparation
At the MichieHamlett Law Firm, our team can assist with all tasks related to creating your last will and testament. We start by consulting with you about your family, assets, and goals. Our attorneys will then advise you on what provisions to include to achieve your objectives, and we will handle drafting the will and reviewing it with you. Finally, our lawyers will help with signing and executing the will, since there are strict requirements to make it valid.
A Virginia Wills Attorney Will Advise You on Your Estate Planning Options
From this overview, you can see that dying intestate carries significant consequences for your legacy and your loved ones. To learn more about preparing a will, please contact the MichieHamlett Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a Virginia wills lawyer. We can advise you on your options and get you started on the estate planning process.