Virginia Estate Planning Attorneys | Virginia Elder Law Attorney
Estate planning provides several crucial protections to the elderly. A good estate plan will help you avoid probate taxes, cut court costs and attorneys' fees, and ensure that your loved ones will not be burdened with unnecessary hassle and confusion while dealing with your loss. Our Virginia estate planning attorneys can help you establish a living will that informs doctors of your wishes as to major medical decisions, ensure that your property will be distributed according to your wishes after you have passed, and appoint a power of attorney to make financial decisions in the event that you are unable to do so. An estate plan is an indispensable tool in protecting your legal rights. At a minimum, an estate plan should include a will and living will, trust and a power of attorney (POA).
Wills and Living Wills
A will is a written and signed legal document that controls how your property will be distributed after you die. Wills give you the power to direct the management of your estate, allowing you to provide specific instructions on a variety of issues, such as who will receive your property and who will carry out your wishes. Wills are the most common means of ensuring that your property will be distributed according to your wishes.
A living will directs medical professionals what to do in the event that you are unable to make your own medical decisions. A living will is not a will in the usual sense, as it does not apply to the distribution of property. Rather, a living will informs doctors and hospitals, in the event that you become terminally ill or lapse into permanent unconsciousness, whether or not you wish to be resuscitated and/or placed on life support. Living wills are standard tools for effective estate planning for the elderly. Our Virginia estate planning attorneys can help you draft a will and living will to ensure your wishes are carried out.
In addition to a will, many older Americans are using revocable trusts (also called "living" trusts) to avoid probate and to manage their estates both during their lives and after they're gone. A revocable living trust allows you to change or revoke the terms of the trust at any time after it is created. In contrast, if you choose an irrevocable living trust, you permanently relinquish the right to modify the Trust once it is created. However, even a revocable Trust becomes irrevocable at the time of your death.
Unlike wills, trusts allow you to avoid probate and minimize estate taxes. Trusts also permit you to specify conditions for receipt of the benefits of the trust, as well as control the manner in which the Trustee distributes the principal or income of the trust. Therefore, a trust is often more effective than a Will in carrying out the intentions of the Grantor (the person who creates the Trust), making it a popular Estate Planning option.
A power of attorney is a legal device that may be used to manage your assets or affairs in circumstances where you are no longer able to act in your own best interests. For example, if you must undergo surgery or are suffering from a mental illness, someone else will be granted the power to handle your legal affairs while you are incapacitated.
Protecting the rights of seniors and individuals with disabilities is vital as we live longer and children with disabilities become adults. The experienced Virginia estate planning attorneys at Charles B. Roberts & Associates, P.C. can assist you with the preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, medical directives, estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, long-term care planning and other elder law issues. Our firm has the resources and experience to help you formulate an estate plan that best meets your needs. Call 1-888-407-4529 today to discuss your case with our experienced Virginia estate planning attorneys. We handle cases in Arlington, Fredericksburg, Woodbridge, and throughout Northern Virginia.