Fairfax Wills Lawyer

A will is a legal document that provides for a person’s wishes for the distribution of their assets after death. Often, a last will and testament will include specific bequests of an individual’s jewelry or artwork, and then instructions for the distribution of the remainder of a person’s assets. An executor is also named in the last will and testament. A will may also include instructions regarding the payment of taxes and final expenses, trusts for minor children or grandchildren, and burial or cremation wishes. Wills allow individuals to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of. That is why it is important for people to get in contact with a skilled trusts and estates lawyer that could begin the process of writing a will for an individual. A capable Fairfax wills lawyer could help an individual write their last will and testament, and ensure that the will is carried out.

Components of a Will

Each person’s last will and testament is tailored to their wishes. However, most documents include provisions for the distribution of a person’s property, burial or cremation wishes, and instructions regarding the payment of any taxes due or administrative expenses to close the estate.  In addition, a last will and testament often nominate an executor and an alternate, in the event the individual nominated first cannot serve. A last will and testament also often includes trust provisions for minor children or grandchildren or provisions for beneficiaries that may have special needs. A last will and testament is a document that a person prepares during the lifetime that expresses his or wishes for the distribution of their assets after death.

What is an Executor?

An executor is an individual who is named in a person’s will to administer the estate after the person’s death. Often a person will name an initial executor in their will and will then also name successor executors in the event that the first person who is named cannot serve. An executor has the responsibility of collecting all of the decedent’s assets which is sometimes also referred to as marshaling the assets and ultimately making sure that all of the decedent’s debts are paid and eventually distributing everything to the rightful beneficiaries of the estate. A Fairfax wills lawyer could help ensure that the executor fulfills their duty.

Role of an Attorney in the Estate Planning Process

The main responsibility that the attorney has is ensuring that the document that they draft accurately expresses the individual’s wishes and does not create any potential tax issues from the provisions that they write. It is important, as a Fairfax wills attorney, to carefully draft the document and look at a person’s assets and understand what provisions might affect estate taxes once the person has died.

During the estate planning process, the attorney represents the testator and again the testator is the person who is creating the will and they have a fiduciary obligation and duty of loyalty to the client to ensure that the document they draft is an accurate representation of the testator’s wishes.

How Fairfax Wills Attorneys Can Help

It is common for testators to ask what the best plan is for that person. An experienced Fairfax wills lawyer could look at a person’s assets, whether it is cash, investment accounts, real property, tangible property, and given the family dynamics of the person, an attorney would be able to look at all of that background information and give that person an opinion as to what the best plan would be for that person. Attorneys are often asked to explain the applicable tax systems and the probate process as well.  Finally, attorneys can lend their experience to advise regarding the creation of trusts for minors, complex plans for distribution and trusts created to address beneficiaries with special needs. If an individual wants to know more about wills, they should speak with a knowledgeable trusts and estates lawyer from Fairfax that could help.