Regardless of whether your estate is large or small, it is important that you execute a Will in order to designate who will receive your assets at your death and who will handle the distribution of your estate. A Will is a legal document which names individuals (or charitable organizations) who will receive your assets after your death, nominates an Executor who will manage and distribute your estate according to the instructions in your Will, and, if you have children, nominates a guardian to care for them.
If you fail to execute a Will, a court will simply appoint someone to handle your assets and manage your estate. Additionally, your assets will be distributed according to a set of statutory rules known as intestate succession. You will have no control over who will receive your assets at your death. When a person dies without a Will, the legal procedure is time consuming, complicated, and can increase the probability of conflict between family members. A valid Will is necessary in order to minimize worry, expense, and hardship to your family.
Because your Will is an important legal document that must meet strict requirements in order to be valid, it is important that you retain a qualified attorney to draft your Will. The attorneys at K. Page Kistler, P.C. will make sure that your Will conforms with Virginia law and can make suggestions and help you understand the many ways that assets can be transferred to or for the benefit of your loved ones.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a written legal document that gives another person the right and authority to act on your behalf. That authority will end, however, if you become incapacitated, unless you have executed a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney is necessary in order to protect yourself, your property, and your family in case of your incapacity. Incapacity is possible at any age, and may occur either because of injury or illness. If you have not planned for incapacity, your family could face significant obstacles if something happens that leaves you unable to act on your own.
A power of attorney gives you the opportunity to name an agent who you trust to act on your behalf. Your agent will have a fiduciary obligation to act in your best interests and will be able to protect you and your property if incapacity affects your ability to act on your own accord. A power of attorney can be as broad or as limited as you wish, but it will typically empower your agent to act on your behalf with respect to financial matters, such managing your investments, retirement benefits, contracts, real and personal property, and much more. You may also wish to create a durable power of attorney for health care, which will allow your agent to make health care decisions for you when you can no longer make them for yourself.
We can help you, call us for a consultation at (757) 271-3279 or send us an e-mail.