Wills Lawyer in Virginia

Every adult in Virginia should have a plan in place to provide for and protect their loved ones.  Nobody likes to think about their own mortality.  It is a touchy, emotional topic, and as a result creating a will is a task many people put off. Some believe they can wait until they’re older or they have more money. But the fact is that no one knows what the future holds, and preparing now can save your loved ones considerable anguish and loss of privacy later.

At Jennifer Porter Law, our team can create a will and other estate planning tools designed to meet your specific goals. Wills can be simple or complex. While we want to ensure that your loved ones are protected, we don’t want to waste your time and resources on provisions you don’t need.

What’s Included in a Simple Will in Virginia?

A basic will designates one or more beneficiaries who will receive the property in your estate when you pass away. An “estate” in this case doesn’t refer to a fancy house in the country though.  An “estate” is comprised of the assets you own at the time of your death – house, savings, investments, and personal possessions are some examples.

Some of your assets may legally pass directly to others, such as co-owners. If you have accounts with beneficiary clauses, the funds in those accounts will also go directly to the beneficiaries and won’t be part of your estate. But, the assets that belong only to you will be in your estate, and a basic will directs where that property should go.

In addition, a basic will usually designate the specific person you wish to serve as personal representative or executor of the estate. When you pass away, the executor takes your will to the court to be probated, and the court will authorize them to pay your bills and distribute your property according to the will.

A will does not need to be notarized to be valid in Virginia, but by including certain statements signed in the presence of a notary, it becomes much easier to admit the will into probate later.

Additional Terms You Can Include in Your Will

Wills can do much more than simply assign your property to others. For instance, we can add provisions to create testamentary trusts to protect vulnerable loved ones including pets. Your will might include provisions that:

  • Name a guardian for a minor child
  • Establish a trust to manage your child’s inheritance
  • Name a trustee to manage your child’s property until they are old enough to take over
  • Establish a trust to provide for a loved one with special needs
  • Support a favorite charity
  • Provide for a the care of a pet

As you can see, if you have children who are not yet grown, it is crucial to create a will to provide for their protection. If you die without a valid will, the government determines who will receive your property and the court will determine who takes responsibility for your children according to Virginia guidelines. Those choices may be the last thing you’d want. Creating a will is one of the most important ways to protect your family.

Jennifer Porter Law Can Help

If you don’t have a will or your will has not been reviewed or updated recently, it is a good idea to schedule a planning session. At Jennifer Porter Law, we can review existing documents to see if they still need your needs and current legal requirements.

We can also establish brand new plans to protect your interests during your lifetime and protect loved ones going forward. Contact us today to get started.


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