Though this is a daunting question, it is one you must ask yourself: what if you did not come home tonight? If you did not come home tonight, would your children be left in good hands? Would your assets go to waste? Could your business continue on and move forward? Formulating a comprehensive estate plan is the only way to ensure that these questions are answered with an absolute, without a doubt, YES.
At their most basic level, a comprehensive estate plan is a series of legal documents that explains to your family, friends and the state of Virginia how you want your person and your assets to be handled in the event of incapacity or death. Other important matters that are also addressed in your estate plan include, but are not limited to, issues such as how you will create a legacy, leave your children money and who will be your decision maker should you no longer be able to make decisions for yourself.
The importance of an estate plan does not only reside in choosing who gets what in the end. Don’t be fooled, in the absence of an estate plan, the state of Virginia will decide who inherits from you in a process governed by the intestate rules. Your estate plan can do so much more and actually eliminate stress on important decisions related to you. If you were to need a decision maker, without planning in place, in the event of a sudden illness or catastrophic accident, the fighting over who could make your health care choices and your end of life decisions could potentially tear your family apart.
An estate plan does not only address material belongings, but also prevents guardianship and conservatorship, or the court-mandated process of appointing a decision maker for you should you not have powers of attorney in place. In your estate planning documents, you need to choose who will make your health care and your financial decisions. You also need to consider naming a second and third successor, in the event the first person cannot be there to make decisions for you for any reason. When doing so, you need to carefully examine all of the factors to establish that this is the right person for you and, if you were to not come home tonight, your desires for your person and your estate would be fulfilled.
Do not avoid answering these life changing questions. Do not make the mistake of avoiding planning your estate and creating a legacy that supports your loved ones and your goals long after you are gone. Attorney Donna Wilson is here to help you and your family! Don’t wait to call us at 866-603-5976 or contact us via our website to schedule a meeting with Donna directly.