Estate Planning FAQs

Estate Planning Questions

Let Our Virginia Lawyers Guide You through the Planning Process

Estate planning can be complicated, based on your unique situation, the intestacy laws, and a number of other circumstances. Because of this, we know that you may have many questions before starting the estate planning process.

It is important that you know all of your legal options and how best to protect your assets and your family. Read our answers to some frequently asked questions below then call us at 888.487.9899 to schedule your personal consultation today.

Do I need a will? What happens if I do not have one?

Dying intestate, or without a will, means that your estate will be subject to Virginia laws to determine what your heirs are entitled to. Your family may also have to go through the probate process, if your estate exceeds a certain monetary amount or if you own real estate. A will is therefore a very important document to help ensure that your wishes are stated and carried out after you have passed.

Who will be in charge of my estate after I pass?

Your executor, trustee, or personal representative is the person that you appoint in your estate planning documents. This person needs to be a trustworthy adult (18 years or older), as they will be out in charge of a big responsibility. Many clients chose a family member or a close family friend and some have even amended their documents as circumstances change.

Similarly, you will need to choose an agent for your medical directive and power of attorney, who will be responsible for your taking care of your affairs if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to do so yourself.

What is asset protection?

If you are a professional, own your own business, own or rent property, or own a lot of monetary assets, having a protection plan in place can help safeguard your wealth. Asset protection can help protect you from lawsuits, judgements, fraud, and limit your liability. Simply having insurance may not fully protect you or your business. An asset protection plan offers you an additional level security to guard your hard earned money.

What does a living trust do?

Having a living trust, or revocable trust, in place can help your family and your heirs avoid the drawn out probate process after you pass. In effect, a living trust works in the same way that a will does in ensuring that your final wishes are carried out and your estate is protected. A living trust may also save you money on estate taxes.

I am the administrator of an estate, what should I do?

Estate and trust administration can be complex and costs and time can depend on a number of issues including the estate’s assets and the court’s schedule. Trusting the administration process to a knowledgeable Williamsburg attorney can save you time, money, and the stress of dealing with the courts, the other heirs, and the myriad of potential pitfalls that can happen in the process.

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