You would do anything to protect your family, but when it comes to protecting your assets for your retirement or for your children after you are gone, you don’t know what to do or where to turn for help. When you work with Quest Law PLLC on an estate plan, you can be sure we will cover all the bases and help you create an estate plan that meets your unique needs.
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
The truth is that many people avoid meeting with an estate planning attorney not because they don’t think they need one, but because they don’t want to confront the reality of what could happen in the future. Premature death, nursing homes, widowhood, incapacitation, and taxes are scary things to think about. Unfortunately, not planning for these possibilities could cost you dearly in the long run. Estate plans are not just for people with significant assets. Anyone who owns property, has minor children, savings, a retirement plan, and valuable or sentimental personal property should seriously consider working with Quest Law on an estate plan—the sooner the better!
What Is an Estate Plan?
In its simplest form, estate planning arranges for the transfer of an individual’s assets and property at the time of his or her death. However, a complete plan will also include provisions for circumstances that could arise while the planner is still alive. Some of the more popular estate planning tools include:
Wills. A will is a tool for designating who will inherit what after a death. Wills can also name guardians for minor children and specify other wishes—such as funeral arrangements—of the deceased. All wills must pass through probate, which can be a lengthy and expensive process. Without a will, property will be transferred to next of kin according to Virginia state law.
Trusts. A trust is a more powerful tool than a will and offers more flexibility in terms of choosing beneficiaries and planning for property and assets. Trusts can begin distributing property before your death and can be used for planning for disability and tax savings. Another advantage to a trust is that it does not have to go through probate upon your death.
Powers of attorney. A power of attorney is a tool that designates an individual to handle your finances if you become unable to do so yourself. You may name a friend, family member, attorney, or a trusted professional in a financial power of attorney. This is an important decision and you will want the advice of an estate planning attorney before you choose.
Healthcare directives. Many people’s biggest fear is becoming incapacitated or being kept on life support against their wishes after a catastrophic accident. Also known as “living wills,” healthcare directives spell out your wishes regarding healthcare and name a person to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so. This is known as a power of attorney (POA) for health care and is separate from a financial POA.
There is a lot to consider when thinking about an estate plan, but meeting with an experienced attorney to discuss your wishes for the future can help you decide what your next steps should be. Before you turn to the internet to download free forms that won’t do any more than state law mandates anyway, talk to an estate planning attorney to learn about the difference an they can make for you and your family.
Talk To An Estate Planning Attorney Today
No matter where you live in the greater Richmond area, Quest Law PLLC in Midlothian can take care of all of your estate planning needs. Whether you are interested in a simple will, want to discuss options for an advance directive, or have decided it’s time to name a financial or healthcare power of attorney, contact Stephen to make an appointment. He will listen to your goals and desires and never try to talk you in to more than you need.