Virginia Beach Attorneys for Wills and Last Will and Testament
Young people and individuals without substantial amounts of wealth may believe that wills are only for people with considerable assets, individuals who are advanced in age, and sick patients who have been diagnosed with a severe illness or terminal disease. But the truth is that it is never too early to start preparing an estate plan, and one of the most important parts of your overall estate plan is your last will and testament.
The Virginia Beach estate planning lawyers at Pincus Goodman, P.C., have the knowledge and skills to help you create a valid, enforceable will, one that preserves your personal legacy and ensures your wishes are properly carried out after your death. Contact us today at (757) 301-9634 for a consultation to discuss your needs and goals.
Importance of a Will
One of the most important reasons to include a will in your estate plan is to clearly state how you would like your estate and property to be divided and distributed amongst your chosen beneficiaries. You can use your will to financially support your surviving family members or bequeath gifts to friends you share a close relationship with. You could also direct the executor of your estate to donate money to a charity you care about.
Your last will and testament can also address other matters not related to your finances and property. For instance, if you have minor children, you can use your will to designate a new guardian for your children in the event of your untimely death.
Risks of Not Having a Will
If you pass away without leaving behind any legally binding instructions addressing how your assets should be distributed, who should care for your children, and other important matters, your objectives may not be carried out according to your wishes. Without a will, it will be up to the state to determine how your estate should be dispersed, and their choices may not be in alignment with your personal desires.
Failing to establish a legally valid will could also lead to disputes amongst your surviving family members. If you have not outlined how you would like your property to be distributed to your beneficiaries, there could be conflict between members of your family regarding their inheritance. These conflicts can go on for an extended period of time and lead to significant legal costs for your loved ones. You can reduce the potential for intrafamilial disputes by leaving behind a well-prepared, legally enforceable will.
Without a will, you won’t be able to choose a trusted guardian for any minor children you have at the time of your death, either. If your children do not have another surviving parent and you die without appointing a new guardian, a court will have to get involved to select a guardian for them, and the court may not necessarily select someone that you would have selected.
Requirements for Establishing a Will
To establish a legally valid will in Virginia, you must be at least 18 years of age. The document has to be in writing, and it must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. You must also be mentally competent at the time you set down the terms of the will.
Contact a Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer Today
At Pincus Goodman, P.C., we have helped many clients of all ages and socioeconomic situations establish valid wills and robust estate plans. Contact our Virginia Beach attorneys today for a free consultation to learn more about estate planning and discuss your options. You can reach our office by phone at (757) 301-9634.