Many people think creating a will is something that is necessary only for the very wealthy or only for those who are advanced in age or suffering from a serious illness. However, the Virginia State Bar asserts that “every mentally competent adult should have a will.”
You work hard to secure a future for yourself and for your family. After you are gone, you likely have a vision of the legacy you would like to leave behind. For many people, this legacy includes the support of their surviving family members. It may include a gift to close friends and people whom have helped you through life. Your legacy may include a benevolent donation to a charitable organization that supports the causes important to you.
Without a last will and testament, you will be unable to have any say in how your wealth and property is distributed. Instead the laws of intestacy will determine the division of your estate. An attorney can help guide you through the formalities to writing a will.
Estate planning is for everyone, and working with a Virginia wills lawyer can help you create a will that supports your vision of your legacy.
- Importance of Having a Will
- Obtaining a Will
- Practical Suggestions For Your Will
- Role of the Family
- Wills After Death
- Benefits of An Attorney
- Validating a Will
Value of Creating a Will in Virginia
Explicitly defining the terms of the transfer of your state and division of property among your beneficiaries can reduce stress and conflict among them after your death. Choosing the executor of your will allows you to pick someone you trust to oversee the administration of your will, rather than leaving the selection of an executor to a judge.
Having a will can reduce the expenses your estate incurs as a result of estate administration, and careful estate planning can also reduce the tax burden. A last will and testament is about more than just transfer of wealth, however. It also allows you to name a guardian for your minor children after your death and to create a trust that will provide for your children’s education.
It is important to note that a last will and testament is a legal document, and therefore, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires certain things in order for the will to be legally binding. While there is no legal obligation to hire an attorney for your will, working with a Virginia wills attorney can help ensure an enforceable, legally binding will.
Consequences of Not Having a Will
If a person dies intestate, or without a will, Virginia law prescribes how the estate is to be distributed, with no consideration of the decedent’s wishes for the estate. In general, the entire estate will transfer to the surviving spouse. However, if the decedent has children (or descendants of a deceased child) from a relationship other than with the surviving spouse, the children and descendants will receive two-thirds of the estate, and the surviving spouse will receive one-third of the estate.
Estate planning is important for everyone, but it can be crucial for those who have divorced and remarried or those who have children outside of a current marriage.
Contact a Virginia Wills Lawyer For More Information
To learn more about estate planning, last wills and testaments, and trusts, call today to speak with an attorney about your goals and vision for your estate. Not only will an experienced wills attorney in Virginia sit down with you and discuss your goals in-depth, they will work diligently to help you achieve your ultimate purpose.