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Wills & Estates
The money you “save” by not having an attorney help you with a legal matter ​can turn out to be the most expensive money you ever saved in your life.
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Wills & Estate Attorneys in Virginia

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Yes, creating an estate plan can be emotionally sobering work. We can help with that! Whether your estate is a modest one or quite substantial, creating an estate plan is a significant act of kindness for your loved ones. You can think of it as “problem prevention.”

Do you have a will? If not, Virginia statute has one for you, and it is a “one size fits all” deal – and might not fit your family situation…

  • Decide what happens to your property after you leave us.
    • Do you have a favorite charity? They won’t get a dime unless you tell us.
    • Do you want to exclude someone? That also will not happen unless you tell us.
  • If you have minor children, you are privileged to nominate their guardian.
  • Nominate the person you wish to be in charge of your estate.
  • Divorced with kids and don’t want to leave your estate for their benefit but in the hands of the other parent? Come see us!

Do You Have a Power of Attorney?

  • You can choose who will manipulate your resources for you if you become unable.
  • The only alternative is the in-court proceeding called Guardianship – your family will have to ask a Judge to decide. Costly, it’ll seem slow, and usually aggravating.

Do You Have an Advance Medical Directive or “Living Will”?

  • Your preferred healthcare choices in case you lose the ability to communicate.
  • Your preferred end-of-life instructions
    • Organ Donor? Let us know.
    • Donate to science? You must tell us.
  • Like the power of attorney, the only alternative is the in-court process to have a Judge decide who will interact with your doctors for you.

Married but separated from your spouse? Haven’t seen the spouse for 30 years? Hate their guts? Feel like you’d prefer to perform an appendectomy on them with a rusty razor than say hello? No matter – you still have a lawfully wedded spouse – someone who can show up and demand the spousal share of your estate. Come talk to us about ways you can prepare to handle that possibility.

Committed to Each Other but Not Lawfully Married? You REALLY Need an Estate Plan.

  • Virginia public policy (and statute) is heavily unfavorable to claim of common law marriage.
  • Living together, even for decades, does not change the fact that in the eyes of the law, the starting assumption is that you are legal strangers.
  • A well-drafted estate plan consisting of a will, a power of attorney and an advance medical directive will ensure that your trusted unwed loved one is the person who we’ll look to on occasion of your death or disability.

Probate and Probate Avoidance and Estate Administration

  • Guidance for executors or administrators or trustees
  • Advice about pay-on-death and transfer-on-death probate avoidance
  • Advice about naming (or not naming) joint owners on your accounts

Have you attended one of those seminars where the presenter urged that everyone should have an estate plan and your estate plan should be a trust, and now you’ve got one? Do you feel like you’ve got a dump-truck sized estate plan for a moped-sized estate? Confused about what you have and how it works? We can help you assess and if necessary, make appropriate changes.

On the other hand, if you have an estate planning situation that calls for creation of a trust to address it, we’ll help with that, too!

Did you obtain a will or other estate planning document off the internet for free or cheap? You ought to have a Virginia-licensed attorney review it to ensure the document will work in Virginia.

Ditto if you got your will or power of attorney for free from the on-base military legal services office. We’re not picking a fight with the military JAG corps, but Virginia estate planning can be quirky, and we find that it’s a rare day when a military will or POA was reviewed and approved by a legal officer licensed to practice in Virginia. It matters!

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