Estate Planning Attorney

estate planning attorney

Every adult should have an estate plan, but many people put it off for one reason or another. Oftentimes, people mistakenly believe that only wealthy individuals with a lot of money or property need an estate plan, but this is far from the truth.

Having an estate plan helps ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away or become incapacitated. These documents clear up essential decisions about guardianship for minor children, medical treatment in the event of your incapacitation, and end-of-life wishes.

Don’t put off your estate plan; there’s no better time than now to get started. Call Select Law Partners, PLLC to speak with an estate planning attorney. We’re available at (855) 541-4867. 

Preparing For Your Future: Our Estate Planning Services

Upon your passing, your estate plan will dictate who will take charge of winding up with your estate, but it will also control who receives your belongings, real estate, and financial assets.

Incapacity planning focuses on what happens if you are no longer able to manage your financial affairs or make your own healthcare decisions while you are living. Specifically, it allows you to appoint a person to manage those affairs and decisions under the guidelines you put in place. Both pieces of the puzzle are important to a comprehensive estate plan.

But that’s not all the services we provide under estate planning – keep reading to learn more.

Wills

At a minimum, your estate plan should have a Last Will and Testament. In a Will, you outline how you want your assets distributed, name the individual who will handle your estate, and elect a guardian for your minor children. Should you choose to live without a Will—or any other estate planning documents—you will have died intestate. Dying “intestate” means, in both North Carolina and Virginia, that your assets will pass through the intestacy laws of the state you reside in rather than according to your wishes. You will have no control over who will receive all your possessions, who will manage your estate, or who will raise your children.

Revocable Living Trusts

A Revocable Living Trust is an estate planning vehicle that is often superior to a Last Will and Testament. It offers complete probate avoidance (meaning no court oversight), immediate access to your funds to pay for final arrangements or provide financial support to your loved ones, privacy, and creditor protection for your beneficiaries. Like a Will, it puts you in control of how your assets are distributed and who manages your estate.

Advance Medical Directive and Health Care Power of Attorney

What will happen if you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions about your health care? An Advance Medical Directive and Health Care Power of Attorney both give instructions to your loved ones about how you want decisions to be handled. You provide the guidelines and decide who makes the decisions based on the guidelines.

General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney is similar to a Health Care Power of Attorney in that it provides guidelines, but the General Power of Attorney addresses your financial affairs and elects a person to manage them.

Estate Plans Make Your Life Easier and Your Legacy Greater

Passing away without a will or any other estate planning documents means that you pass away “intestate.” Dying intestate essentially means that you have no control over your estate, and your assets will pass through the intestacy laws of the state where you lived, rather than according to your wishes. 

There are many reasons to be proactive about making legal decisions on your own behalf. If you pass away without having created an estate plan, you’ll have no control over who will receive your assets, who will maintain your estate, or who will raise your children, among other things.

We know that talking about death, money, and illness can make people feel uncomfortable, but having open dialogue and creating a plan is a responsible, loving way to care for your family even upon your death. 

Select Law Partners, PLLC urges you to not let a few moments of discomfort keep you from protecting your loved ones and your legacy. An estate plan allows you to accomplish your goals and carry out your wishes after death or incapacity, and you can address many different decisions, including those we discuss below.

Beneficiaries

An estate plan allows you to protect and provide for loved ones after you’re gone by distributing your assets according to your wishes. 

If you are a parent of minor children, who will take care of your children if you pass away? An estate plan allows you to designate guardianship, so the state does not. You can even set up guardianship for your pets.

Having an estate plan can also take the stress off your loved ones after your passing. Losing a loved one is devastating and stressful. Communicating your wishes and intentions in a legal way keeps your family from having to make difficult decisions that may cause jealousy and discord in the family. Essentially, an estate plan provides clarity about your intentions and ensures your assets are distributed according to your plans.

Health Care

Estate planning tools like Advance Medical Directives and Healthcare Powers of Attorney allow you to set guidelines for your loved ones and physicians about important health care decisions. 

These estate planning tools enable you to answer important questions for your loved ones, such as:

  • Who will make healthcare decisions on my behalf if I cannot make decisions for myself?

  • What medical treatments am I comfortable with, and what medical treatments do I not want?

  • Do I want to be resuscitated if that event happens?

Disability or Incapacity

In the event of incapacity, you will still have everyday financial affairs that someone will need to handle. Incapacity planning focuses on what happens if you can no longer manage your financial affairs or make your own healthcare decisions while you are living. 

Who will manage your day-to-day finances and monthly bills? If you’re disabled, will you live in a nursing home, or do you want in-home care? How will you pay for care? These are all questions you can answer with incapacity planning.

Property

A comprehensive estate plan can help you protect your property and divide and distribute it as you wish. Specific estate planning tools can protect your assets from creditors and even save your family money in estate taxes. 

Additionally, you can select a trustee to manage the distribution of property. A few questions you may ask yourself to start shaping your estate plan include:

  •   How do I want to divide my property after my death?

  •   Should certain assets be transferred to certain loved ones?

  •   Who will distribute my property after my death?

Why is it important to have an estate planning lawyer?

The estate planning laws are complex. One mistake in your documents can invalidate your entire estate plan, resulting in significant consequences for your loved ones after your passing. 

Also, you cannot tailor a do-it-yourself will or trust a template to fit the unique circumstances of your life. There are many do-it-yourself estate plans out there, but we highly recommend that you get the help of an experienced estate planning lawyer.

A well-versed estate planning attorney will create a custom estate plan to meet your intentions and carry out your guidance. We can advise you on the best ways to avoid probate and alleviate tax burdens as well.

Our Estate Planning Attorneys

Sara S. Josey

Sara dedicates her practice to helping families design comprehensive estate plans to prepare for their future, care for their loved ones, and solidify their legacy. Read Sara’s complete attorney profile here.

Mary Capra

Mary is dedicated to helping her clients protect their legacies. Before working with Select Law Partners, Mary clerked for the Spotsylvania Circuit Court and worked one-on-one with the judges. She gained invaluable experience working on complicated estate planning cases like estate probate issues there. You can read Mary’s complete attorney profile here.

Plan for a Secure Future With Select Law Partners, PLLC

Estate planning is a broad area of law that enables people to carefully plan for their future. We can assist you with drafting a Last Will and Testament, Trusts, Advance Medical Directives, Powers of Attorney, and a variety of other estate planning documents.

Our estate planning attorneys at Select Law Partners can also review your current business documents to ensure that they align with your estate planning goals. Contact us online or call us at (855) 541-4867 to get started!

 

Areas We Serve

Virginia

  • Alexandria

  • Manassas

  • Fredericksburg

  • Fairfax

  • Herndon

  • Manassas

  • Roanoke

  • Stafford

North Carolina

  • Cornelius

Our Estate Planning Attorneys: