After each of us passes, legal matters live on. Wise estate planning beforehand can guarantee your desires are respected and that your family inherits its rightful share without any legal obstacles. The most effective way to prepare for this stage in life is to engage an experienced estate and trust planning attorney.
Neglecting to take action may result in chaos for your loved ones. To schedule a consultation, please contact Holcomb Law at (757) 656-1000.
With respect for the unique circumstances of each case, Holcomb Law helps clients comprehend the numerous distribution alternatives available. We provide the best options that satisfy each individual’s particular needs, whether it requires utilizing survivorship rights to reduce the probate estate or drafting a sophisticated estate plan to protect the deceased’s legacy.
We know every family deserves a thorough examination of their particular circumstances in order to ensure the most effective way of distribution.
What Advantages Do Estate Plans Offer?
Many people become aware of the various advantages of having an estate plan in place after they get beyond their fear or concern about starting one. It is not only the rich that need estate planning. Everyone stands to gain, no matter the size of their estate.
By creating a plan, you can maintain authority over essential decisions in your life, not just those regarding your property and assets. Although you may not possess numerous assets, unexpected events like illness or injury can occur. Your documents will aid your executor in carrying out your desires.
If you already have everything in writing, your family members benefit from saving time and money in probate court. End-of-life medical choices, your favorite charities, and company succession are other crucial items that should be included in a plan.
What are the Components of an Estate Plan?
It is often believed that planning for the inevitable conclusion of life is the only thing one needs to do. However, much like no one knows when we will be called home, none of us know the manner of it either. Often, one’s passing is not as peaceful as falling asleep and waking up at the bridegroom’s feast. Many, if not most, of us will suffer tribulations from disease, incapacity, injury or disability which will persist prior to our passing. These inevitable circumstances can be difficult for each of us as well as our loved ones.
This is why a seasoned estate planning attorney not only concerns themselves with the disposition of property upon death but also for the care and maintenance each of us requires during life.
Our estate plans will typically include evaluating whether certain agency documents are required. These can include planning documents beyond a will or a trust and we often recommend crafting a financial powers of attorney or medical directives.
A financial power of attorney is a powerful document. It will generally grant full authority to your trusted agent to undertake all of your non-medical decisions on your behalf. Appointing this agent should be done under thoughtful diligence and often with the consultation of a veteran planner in the field. We here at Holcomb Law assist clients with reviewing the available loved ones for both who could serve, but also who would be most appropriate to do so – as this is not a task for the faint of heart.
As with the advanced medical directive. It can be quite scary to think of a time when we are unable to properly communicate our wishes with our medical professionals, but many of us will face such circumstances during our lives. Appointing an agent to liaise with our medical team is vital to ensuring your wishes for your care (or end-of-life instructions) are properly communicated.
I have a blended family, what estate planning do I need?
Like it or not, life happens to us all. We all have “baggage” that we bring with us throughout our walk. Sometimes, marriages don’t work, but the blessings of that marriage can result in remarriage into a blended family. Whether it is him bringing up three boys or her with three girls of her own (or something in between), understanding the distribution of assets in a blended family and planning for the new family is vital. It should not only be done with care for the distribution of assets at one’s passing, but also concern for the emotional interfamily dynamics. We at Holcomb Law have lives also, and have faced similar circumstances we can rely on when assisting clients in these circumstances.
What is the difference between a Will and a Trust?
This is a very common question, one which not only causes great confusion with clients before coming in, but can also lead the family to great distress with the passing of a loved one. The most succinct way to explain the difference is by explaining how they are used.
A will, generally, outlays the simple distribution of one’s assets at their death. It is here that one could also explain their wishes for treatment of remains, appointment of a caretaker for the assets, and even nominate a guardian for minor children. They can become far more complicated, should they need to be, but in its simplest form that is the use of a will. Think of it as a private conversation with a trusted friend or advisor where one describes how they want the matters of their life to be handled when they are gone.
Now, this is contrasted with a trust. Both serve to provide disposition instructions at death, but the usefulness of a trust is unending. A seasoned estate planning lawyer understands both the vastness of the utility of a trust, but also the greatness of a simple trust to care for beneficiaries during life and after death. It is often likened to a business, one puts assets inside, appoints a manager to care for those assets and gives instructions for how to control those assets when the owner is no longer here.
If I don’t have a will or trust, what happens to my estate in Virginia?
In Virginia, the situation of dying without a will or trust is referred to as dying “intestate.” The allocation typically follows a pre-established hierarchy of heirs, beginning with your spouse and children, and extending to other family members, including parents or siblings.
It’s crucial to have a will or trust in place that matches your preferences in order to prevent the uncertainties and potential issues related to passing away intestate. By doing this, you’ll make sure that your assets are allocated in accordance with your wishes and that your loved ones are cared for as you like.
Our objective is to make the procedure as straightforward and stress-free as we can, giving our clients solace and assistance during these trying times. You may rest easy knowing that we are committed to supporting you as you prepare and handle the affairs of your loved one while we’re on your side.
How does this planning affect my tax or financial planning?
Believe it or not, this question doesn’t get asked as much as it should. Clients usually come to this during our consultation appointments, having not considered it beforehand. Regardless, whether it is a driving force for your scheduled visit or a nagging question during the discussion, we here strive to incorporate a wholistic and comprehensive review of your planning to ensure that each piece of your puzzle fits together.
Whether we have worked with your trusted team for years or if you will be making a first introduction, we want to work as a team to develop a plan that makes the most sense to every member. Our lawyers believe in collaboration and have taken that approach for years – your team is our team.
Take Action Now
Most people desire to have as much control as they can over their life. Preparing for death and incapacity allows you to maintain control for a longer period of time. You get to decide who will handle your end-of-life affairs and arrange for long-term care if you are unable to. You provide financial decisions to the individuals you trust. You are free to decide on your future plan, but you must take action.
Each day you put off carrying out a plan puts your family in danger of needless expenses and delays, uncertainty, and drawn-out procedures to organize your affairs, many of which entail judicial decisions and monitoring.
Although it is difficult to talk about such delicate subjects, the peace of mind that comes from creating a well-thought-out strategy is worth the effort.
Keep in mind that what is important to you is important to us whether you are worried about choosing a guardian for young children, safeguarding an adult child’s inheritance from creditors or divorce, transferring a business, or making plans for the care of a pet that outlives you.
We provide the best options to fulfill your goals and take care of your problems based on the time we spend with you. You have a special plan, and we can assist you in realizing it.
Contact Holcomb Law Today
Holcomb Law’s estate planning and administration lawyers can evaluate your requirements and create an estate plan that is ideal for your unique needs, preferences, and circumstances. To book your estate and trust consultation right now, call us at (757) 656-1000.