Virginia Beach Estate Planning Attorneys
Having a valid estate plan is crucial if you want your assets and property to be managed and distributed according to your wishes after you die. Without an estate plan, the courts will be in charge of major decisions like disbursing your assets, choosing a new guardian for your children, and determining whether you should continue receiving life-saving medical treatment. By creating an estate plan, you can prevent your assets from being distributed in a way that is not aligned with your goals. You will also have full control over who takes care of any minor children you leave behind and who manages your affairs should you become incapacitated.
Drafting an estate plan is a complex process. To ensure that your estate plan is enforceable, you will most likely need an attorney’s help. At Pincus Goodman, P.C., our Virginia Beach estate planning attorneys have extensive experience helping clients plan for the future. We can help you create an estate plan that meets your needs, protects your assets and your children, and reduces the risk of intrafamilial conflict between your heirs and loved ones. Contact us by phone at (757) 301-9634 for a consultation.
Estate Planning Options
Our Virginia Beach attorneys of Pincus Goodman, P.C., provide a variety of estate planning legal services and have helped clients with estate planning tools such as:
- Power of attorney (POA) – A general POA is essentially a legal document that gives a trusted agent the authority to manage your legal, financial, and business affairs in the event of your absence. There are other types of POAs as well. Establishing a durable power of attorney (DPOA) is crucial before you unexpectedly become incapacitated. If you are not mentally capable of making legal and financial decisions on your own, your designated DPOA can step in to make those decisions on your behalf. You can also establish a medical POA, a document that gives your chosen agent decision-making power with regard to your medical treatment. For instance, if you are severely injured and placed on life support, your medical POA would have the authority to direct your doctors to continue or withhold care. You can use a POA to make your wishes explicit in writing. That way there isn’t any confusion amongst your loved ones as to how you would like your affairs or healthcare to be managed.
- Advance medical directives – Advance medical directives are written documents that dictate how you would like to be cared for if you become disabled or mentally incompetent. Advance medical directives can be used to request or refuse certain types of care, assign someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself, and make anatomical gifts, such as organ or full-body donations, in the event of your death.
- Wills (last will and testament) – Having a will, also referred to as a last will and testament, in your estate plan is crucial. Wills, like estate plans, are for everyone, not just the elderly or the rich and powerful. Through a will, you can not only bequeath assets to your chosen beneficiaries, but you can also name a new guardian for your minor children if they have no other surviving parent. You can also make charitable contributions to causes you care about. If you pass away without a will, a court will determine how your property is distributed. To ensure that your assets are dispersed according to your wishes, you should include a valid will in your estate plan.
- Living trusts – Establishing a living trust can have many benefits for you and your chosen heirs. Living trusts give you more control over the assets owned by the trust, and during your lifetime, you can continue to use those assets as you see fit. You can also control when those assets are distributed to your beneficiaries. Unlike assets you leave by way of a will, any assets you place in the trust won’t have to go through probate, so your beneficiaries should be able to access the assets immediately upon your death. The probate process can be long and costly, but by setting up and funding a living trust before your death, you can ensure that your family members and beneficiaries get the financial support they need right away.
Our Virginia Beach attorneys can assist you in making final arrangements, paying for funeral costs, submitting beneficiary forms, and much more. Whatever your specific estate planning needs are, Pincus Goodman, P.C., has the resources to help.
Elements of an Estate Plan in Virginia Beach
If you are creating an estate plan in Virginia Beach, it should address the following questions at a minimum:
- Who should make medical decisions on my behalf if I become incapacitated?
- Do I want to continue receiving medical treatment if I am dying and not mentally capable of deciding for myself?
- How will I support my dependents if I become incapacitated or disabled?
- How will I pay nursing home costs or long-term healthcare facility expenses if I am mentally incompetent?
- How will I protect my assets for my chosen beneficiaries?
- How do I want my property to be distributed upon my death?
- Do I have adequate assets to pay for funeral and burial costs and also provide for my heirs?
- What can I do to curtail costs, taxes, and delays if I become incapacitated or pass away?
A qualified estate planning attorney will be up to date on the latest laws that apply to your situation and will have knowledge of new trends and tools that can be used to simplify the estate planning process (such as digital estate planning).
At Pincus Goodman, P.C., we highly recommend consulting with one of our skilled lawyers when you’re ready to create or update your estate plan. We will walk you through the entire process with you and make sure that your wishes are properly documented and carried out.
Contact a Virginia Beach Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you are ready to begin putting together your estate plan, contact Pincus Goodman, P.C., today for a consultation. Let us use our years of experience to help you devise a plan that accounts for all your assets and takes care of all those you will leave behind. You can reach our firm by phone at (757) 301-9634.