You may not be able to take it with you when you go, but you probably have strong feelings about what should happen to your money and possessions when you're no longer around to enjoy them.
You might think your family will know what those feelings are, but leaving them to try to interpret your wishes in incapacity or death can be a recipe for disaster. Careful estate planning can help you prevent a number of potential pitfalls—from confusion over end-of-life decisions and funeral arrangements to squabbles over inheritances.
A robust estate plan allows you to direct your end-of-life care, make your final wishes known, and pass property and assets to the people and organizations most important to you. Best of all, having a thorough estate plan in place can provide much-needed peace of mind—both for you and for your loved ones.
At Cucinelli Geiger, PC, our knowledgeable, skilled, and compassionate estate planning attorneys can help make the complex legal process go as smoothly as possible. Here's what you should know about estate planning in Virginia.
Estate Planning Is for Everyone
Although people tend to think about estate plans more and more as they get older, estate planning isn't just for seniors. Illness and accidents happen to people of all ages, and there's no way to successfully predict just how long we'll live. Anyone who owns things and wants to have a say in what happens to them after death can benefit from having an estate plan in place.
Additionally, estate planning isn't just for the wealthy elite. Your estate is comprised of everything you own, including your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance policies, furniture, and personal belongings. Regardless of whether your estate is modest or magnificent, you—and your family—can benefit from an estate plan.
Dying Without an Estate Plan
People have a number of reasons for putting off estate planning tasks: They don't think their estate is large enough; they're busy; they're young; they don't want to think about their own mortality; or they're confused by the complex legal process. We understand.
Unfortunately, dying without an estate plan in place can have significant consequences. Most notably, your estate will have to go through the costly, lengthy, and frustrating probate process, during which your assets will be distributed according to Virginia's intestate succession laws rather than your wishes. Not only could your loved ones miss out on treasured heirlooms intended for them, but these same heirlooms could end up in the hands of relatives from whom you're estranged, all because of the intestate succession process. Don't risk it.
Helping Families Plan for the Future
Incapacity and death can catch families off guard, leaving them unprepared to cope with what comes next. Fortunately, with the help of our dedicated estate planning lawyers, you can prevent this from happening to your loved ones. We'll help you realize your goals and protect your family's legacy with legal tools such as:
- Durable General Power of Attorney (for financial affairs)
- Advance Medical Directive or living wills (for medical affairs)
- Last Will and Testament
- Revocable Living Trust
- Trusts for minor children
- Special Needs Trusts
One of the best things about an estate plan is that it isn't written in stone. You can put something in place now and change it later, if necessary.
We provide personalized service and quality representation. Whether you're just starting to explore the estate planning process or have existing documents that need to be reviewed and updated, we'll work diligently to help you find the right solutions for you and your family.
Request a Consultation
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your estate planning needs with a member of our exceptional legal team.