Blacksburg, VA Estate Planning Attorney

Planning for your final wishes can be uncomfortable, and many people spend their lives avoiding these conversations. They want their heirs to benefit from their hard work but are reluctant to take concrete steps to ensure this happens. Instead of hoping for the best or relying on the state to distribute your assets, meet with an experienced Blacksburg, VA estate planning attorney. At Select Law Partners PLLC, our team will review your situation and recommend the appropriate combination of estate planning tools to serve your best interests. We help you understand what each document is and why you might benefit from it. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our Blacksburg lawyers. estate planning attorney blacksburg va

Estate planning gives you the power to plan for your future

After your death, your family will be facing grief and despair over your loss. While you cannot take away their unhappiness, through the proper estate plan, you are able to reduce their confusion and concerns about distributing your assets.

Estate plans aren’t just for the wealthy

You may think you are not rich enough to need an estate plan. You might expect that even writing a will is too much if you don’t have substantial wealth or assets. However, everyone can benefit from a well-crafted estate plan, regardless of their financial situation.

Why do I need an attorney? Can’t I just create an estate plan online?

Online websites can make it seem very easy to create your own will or trust online. However, these cookie-cutter sites lack customization for unusual circumstances and may not be fully updated in accordance with Virginia probate laws. Would you feel comfortable leaving your family’s future in the hands of an impersonal, automated program? The goal of an estate plan is to create a solid, legally binding set of documents that will stand against any legal challenges. It can also help your family reduce their tax burden and protect their inheritance from creditors or beneficiaries who may squander your inheritance. Everyone deserves an opportunity to create a plan that leaves their family in the best financial situation as possible following their passing. At Select Law Partners PLLC, we provide vital services to ensure you have a plan that fits your needs. We help you by:
  • Answering your questions: We educate you on all possibilities so you can make the most informed decisions.
  • Managing all paperwork: Once you choose your documents, we prepare and file them so they are finalized and binding.
  • Giving you peace of mind: You will leave our offices with a thorough understanding of what you have established and how it will serve your interests.
  • Updating your plans: Estate plans put a lot of worries to rest, but they must keep up with changes in your life. Our team will help you make updates when you buy a home or welcome a new family member.

People who could benefit the most from an estate plan

There are a variety of individuals who benefit most from a well-crafted estate plan. Some may need special protection from creditors or others may need protection from mismanaging their own inheritance.

Parents of minor children or children with special needs

Even parents who are healthy and young could be taken in a car crash or other accident. Once children enter your life, you owe it to them to create a plan for passing along your assets to provide for their care. Likewise, if a child requires special assistance due to a disability or illness, the parents must have preparations in place to care for their offspring after they pass away. In these situations, a special needs trust can manage and provide money for the child’s care, housing, education, and support.

People with substantial assets

Having a lot of wealth puts you at risk of those who would try to take it from you. This is especially true after you pass away, when it may seem that relatives come out of the woodwork to claim their share. Building a careful estate plan allows you to clearly state who will get what and when after you die. Your legacy is protected with binding and powerful legal documents, and you can take advantage of valuable loopholes to avoid federal gift, inheritance, and estate taxes. Fortunately, Virginia does not have estate or inheritance taxes, but an estate plan can reduce the number of assets that go through probate court.

People with disabilities

Planning against the possibility of developing a debilitating condition is a smart move, even if you are in perfect health. An estate plan can ensure there are no questions if you die unexpectedly or become mentally incapacitated after an accident. You can establish documents and entities to protect everything until you recover your cognitive function or pass away.

What documents should I put in my estate plan?

Your estate planning attorney in Blacksburg, VA, will examine your needs and put together recommendations for your personal estate plan. These may include the following.

Will or trust

Wills and trusts have different purposes but work well together. A will’s function is to state your wishes for distributing personal property, funeral arrangements, and caring for pets or children. If you do not leave a will (known as dying intestate), the state laws governing descent and distribution will take effect. A trust can be created and activated before you die, or it can be set up to begin after you pass away. Trusts protect your assets from many tax burdens and prevent them from going through probate. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust can be changed whenever your situation requires it before you die. An irrevocable trust is a separate legal entity that owns your assets and cannot be dissolved or altered. These can be written to meet your needs and are best done with a skilled estate planning attorney in Blacksburg, VA. blacksburg va estate planning lawyer

Powers of attorney or living will

A Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) lets you hand over power for financial decisions if you are incapacitated. Your spouse or another agent can decide how to manage your health and manage your finances until you recover. In the case of aging parents, many will sign a DPOA for their adult children to handle decisions if the parent suffers from Alzheimer’s or another cognitively debilitating disease. A living will or advance directive specifically addresses your wishes regarding extraordinary measures to save your life in the event of catastrophic injury or illness. You can designate how long to wait if you are in a coma, to administer CPR, or to allow a natural death. Living wills are only meant for medical decisions and do not give the power to make financial decisions.

Disposition of final remains

Many people have very specific ideas about the songs, flowers, speakers, and locations they want for their funeral and burial. Do you want to be cremated, buried naturally, or have a full viewing and wake? How you wish to dispose of your final remains and be celebrated is up to you. If desired, you can choose the person to carry out your funeral arrangements and have that document notarized and signed by the designated person. If done, you have peace of mind that the individual is aware of their duties and has the authority to make arrangements.

Property memos

Much like the disposition of the final remains document, a Personal Property Memorandum is a separate, legally binding document you can create as part of your estate plan. It also functions independently but in coordination with your will to list specific property distributions you wish to make. For example, if you have several pieces of your grandmother’s antique jewelry you would like to give to your children or grandchildren, you can make a list of their names and who gets each piece. The property memo does not have to be a formal, notarized document and can be updated as frequently as you wish.

Barring Creditors

When you pass away, any creditors who want to request a share of your estate can file a claim. They must be paid before any inheritance distributions are made. A well-prepared estate plan will keep your legacy out of their hands. When you use trusts and other tools, many items can be kept out of probate, meaning there is no public announcement or record of what you are leaving behind. These assets could include:
  • Artwork
  • Businesses
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Cars, trucks, boats, and planes
  • Cash
  • Contents of checking, saving, and money market accounts
  • Farm equipment
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Real estate
  • Retirement accounts or pension funds
  • Stock and bond accounts
A trust is a separate legal entity that functions separately from your estate. They allow you to reduce or eliminate probate taxes, protect against certain lawsuits, and keep your assets private.

Our Blacksburg, VA estate planning attorneys are here to give you peace of mind

It is not pleasant to spend a lot of time thinking about what will happen when you are gone. However, one of the greatest gifts you can give to your loved ones is a careful, well-constructed estate plan that tells them exactly what you want to happen. It takes these stressful decisions off their minds while they are dealing with their grief. Take the first step in setting up your legacy!. Contact Select Law Partners PLLC by calling (855) 541-4867 or using our online form to schedule a meeting with a Blacksburg, VA, estate planning lawyer today.