As discussed in previous blogs, it’s important to have a will and estate plan in place. But though there are many advantages to creating a will, there are some things a will simply can’t do. A will is the perfect document for parents with minor children to use to designate a guardian for their children, minimizing court intervention and honoring their wishes. A will is also the right estate planning document to use to designate an executor for your estate. You can also, through a will, choose to provide for specific persons who would not otherwise be provided for under Virginia state intestacy laws, such as friends, godchildren or stepchildren.
There is no doubt that you need a will, however you also need to understand the limitations of a will. For this reason, it is always advisable to meet and discuss your needs and wishes with a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia estate planning attorney who can help you determine which estate documents you need for your specific situation.
If you have spelled out your wishes for the disposition of your body, your funeral arrangements or memorial service arrangements in your will, be aware that wills are seldom read until days or sometimes weeks after the death. This is generally too late to be of any help to those who are left to plan your funeral or memorial service. It is a good idea to have a separate document created which clearly spells out your wishes for disposition of your body and other arrangements, making sure your loved ones have a copy or know the location of this document.
Dying without a will almost guarantees that the manner in which your estate is distributed will not reflect your actual wishes. Having a will, on the other hand, allows you to exercise control of the many personal decisions Virginia default provisions cannot address. More than 55 percent of American adults don’t currently have a will or an estate plan of any kind. Take the time to meet with an experienced Virginia estate attorney who can help you decide what type of estate plan will best suit your needs.
Melone Hatley is a general practice law firm based in Reston and Virginia Beach. Our practice areas include Family Law, Divorce and Special Needs Children, Traffic Ticket Defense, DUI/DWI Defense, and Trust and Estate Law. Our philosophy is to provide all of our clients with the highest quality legal representation, innovative legal solutions, and unsurpassed dedication to customer service. Through our high standards, we strive to be a trusted resource to our clients.
We know from experience that a successful attorney-client relationship depends on our ability to understand your needs and objectives. For more information about wills and estate planning, contact our office today at 703.995.9900 or visit our website: www.MeloneLawPC.com.