Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Probate Richmond

Richmond Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Probate

No one likes to think about the end of our life, so we often put off writing a will or organizing our estate, but Wills and Estate Planning are essential and must be completed for many reasons. The Estate Planning attorneys at MG Law can assist with wills, trusts and estates and probate.

A will allows you to distribute your assets to your named beneficiaries, plan the administration of your estate by your chosen personal representatives, and implement any of your other desires. If you die intestate (without a will), you cannot make gifts or bequests to specific beneficiaries. Wills and trusts can also be crafted to minimize estate taxes and the more burdensome aspects of probate, while utilizing probate protections when appropriate.

If you have young children, you can set out in your will the names of guardians to act as substitute parents, the names of trustees to manage monies left behind for the benefit of your children, and the age your children will have unfettered access to funds free of any trust. Without a will, your children will receive money at the age of 18, which many parents feel is too young. A will can also address the college education of your children.

Too frequently the death of a parent or other loved one leads to conflict among family members. Siblings can squabble, lose trust in one another, take more than one’s fair share, and sometimes become lifelong enemies. A comprehensive estate plan and careful preparation of wills and trust documents can go a long way to help preserve harmonious family relationships.

MG Law’s attorneys will tailor wills, trusts and other estate planning documents to fit your specific needs and wishes. Plans can address assets with named beneficiaries (e.g., life insurance policies, IRA accounts, 401K and similar plans) and the alignment of asset ownership (i.e., who has legal title to various assets). At the same time, MG Law prepares for many clients a durable general power of attorney and an advance medical directive (also variously referred to as a living will, a healthcare power of attorney, or a power of attorney for medical decision making). Regardless of your circumstances, the estate planning lawyers at MG Law can help you create the estate plan that is right for you and your loved ones.

After you die, do you want things handled and distributed in accordance with your wishes or in accordance with the dictates of laws enacted by the Virginia General Assembly? The answer is clear. Dying testate (with a will) preserves your wishes and protects your heirs.

MG Law’s attorneys are also experienced in estate administration. If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one and seek to become the administrator or executor of an estate, MG Law can guide you through the probate process, even if the deceased died without a will or with a will that we did not draft. Statutes give certain relatives allowances (for example, the family allowance, the exempt property allowance, and the homestead allowance) regardless of estate plan provisions. On occasion, litigation is necessary, requiring court resolution of will contests and questions regarding the decedent’s intent (in which case, the personal representative, as a fiduciary, may file a suit seeking the court’s aid, guidance, and protection).

Whatever your estate related need, MG Law can help.

Additional Resources:

MG Law Offers Wills at Flat Fee

New Simplified Estate Planning for Married Couples

Choosing an Executor: Part 2

Estate Tax Planning Sunset Limbo: Will You Pay Estate Taxes if You Die After January 1st?

Choosing an Executor: Part 1