Helping Clients Protect Their Wealth and Prepare for the Future

When it comes to estate planning, taking a few moments now to prepare for the future can make a world of difference to your loved ones who are left behind after your death. Your estate plan can designate beneficiaries, indicate how to pass on the assets of your inheritance, and name a guardian for your minor children. However, without a will left in your name, many of these questions will be answered by a court of law, which means the decisions may not be made as you would have.

A last will and testament outlines how the execution of your estate will take place and designates a named executor who will carry out your wishes. It also indicates what estate assets will be passed on to which beneficiary. A skilled estate planning attorney can help you inventory your estate to determine how you want to distribute your assets to the next generations. An attorney can also help if you are an executor preparing to take your loved one’s estate through a Virginia surrogate’s court.

Please reach out to our law offices right away to get the assistance you need regarding wills and estate planning. We are ready to help with any issues throughout the drafting process and can help modify your current will to match your family’s unique and changing needs. Please don’t expose your wealth and your family to the state by dying intestate. Call now to schedule your consultation at 540-386-1277.

What Makes a Will Valid Under Virginia Law?

While it is essential to have a will, it is even more critical to ensure that your will is created under valid circumstances so it holds up during the probate process. If a beneficiary doubts the validity of your will, they could dispute it, leaving your family in a legal battle that could drain their time and resources.

Some requirements for a legally valid will in Virginia include:

  • The will must be created by a person of at least 18 years of age who is of sound mind, meaning they understand the nature of the will and what property they are disposing of.
  • The will must be signed by a testator or by another person in the testator’s presence.
  • The will must be witnessed by two individuals who qualify as competent witnesses according to the law.

Handwritten wills, or holographic wills, are valid under Virginia law. Wills are also not required to be notarized. However, oral wills are not recognized as legally valid in Virginia. Please see a wills attorney right away to create your valid will and avoid challenges that complicate the estate administration process for your loved ones.

What Are Some Common Components of a Will?

Virginia law allows for the creation of various types of wills in an individual’s estate plan. Some of the most common wills used are the simple will and the living will.

Depending on which kind of will you choose, it may include a variety of components that fit your unique needs.

Simple Wills

  • Naming an executor of the estate
  • Giving instructions on how to distribute your estate to your spouse, each child, your grandchildren, and any others you wish to give an inheritance
  • Indicating who will become the guardian of your children who are still minors
  • A simple will is what most people think of when they talk about wills. This document includes such components as:

Living Wills

Living wills are less widely discussed but can still be valuable parts of a Virginia estate plan. These documents do not have to do with passing on an inheritance but instead, deal with your healthcare if you become incapacitated. If you cannot express your wishes due to an incapacity such as age, illness, or injury, you may identify steps you wish for healthcare providers to take, such as refraining from using life support.

Why Do I Need a Will in My Estate Plan?

The legal documents that make up an estate plan allow you to maintain control over how your hard-earned wealth is distributed after your death. However, they do much more than that. They allow you to communicate with your loved ones and protect the inheritance you have left for them. The will also ensures that a proper guardian is chosen for any minor children who you leave behind in death.

If you do not prepare by creating a will, these matters will be left in the hands of a judge who will act according to Virginia law. While judges do their best to assign assets fairly, they do not know you or understand the nuances that make up your family. Your loved ones may also face stressful estate litigation if your will is challenged because it lacks validity. Act now to protect yourself and your family members through contacting a trusted wills lawyer like those at Ashwell & Ashwell.

Should You Hire Our Wills Attorneys?

When it comes to the management of your resources, you deserve to be in control, whether you are aiming to minimize your taxes, control your healthcare even if you are incapacitated, or allocate your assets following your death. Our wills attorneys understand Virginia estate and elder law and can give the counsel you need in this critical matter. Whether you need a simple last will, a joint will, a testamentary trust will, or a living will, we can help.

At Ashwell & Ashwell, we recognize that each client has unique needs and challenges. We promise to treat you with the respect you deserve and offer counsel based on our decades of legal experience. We make our best efforts to match our services with the unique needs and wishes of each client. Call 540-386-1277. today to learn how having a will can benefit you and your family in the coming years.


Contact Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC Offices Today!

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