Types of wills available for Virginia residents
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When it comes to wills and estate planning, there are many unfamiliar terms that can easily become confusing. However, it is a good idea to be familiar with the types of wills and supplementary documents that are commonly used in estate planning in Virginia so that you will be able to make the best choices for you and your loved ones. Here is an overview of some of the relevant terms that will help you as you begin this important process:
Last Wills & Testaments
For those with simple estates and/or minimal assets, a simple will (or last will and trust) may be all you need to ensure that your final wishes are followed. For those with children or more complicated assets, additional documents or agreements might be necessary.
- Simple wills. This covers the basic distribution of assets and is good for those with smaller estates.
- Guardianships & Trusts name the individuals who will be responsible for minor children. They can also name a trustee to oversee your assets.
- Revocable living trusts. These are a popular choice for those with more complicated estates as they allow for assets to be placed into a trust while the individual is alive and to pass to the heirs more easily later. These trusts can be changed throughout the creator’s life but are firmly enforced after they pass away.
- Pourover wills. This type of document is complementary to revocable living trusts as it addresses all assets that are not in the trust when the creator passes away by transferring them directly into the trust.
Living wills, medical powers of attorney, and medical directives
While property, assets, and guardianship are important issues for everyone, your health and medical preferences are also important to document as part of overall estate planning.
These terms are essential to creating a comprehensive plan for your future:
- Living wills or advance medical directives (also referred to as advanced medical directives), are documents that specify your preferences in cases of life-threatening illnesses or a persistent vegetative state.
- Medical power of attorney, also referred to as a healthcare proxy, is a way of delegating the person you wish to make medical choices for you when you are incapacitated. This may not be in a life-threatening situation but rather one where mental state is deteriorating or you are otherwise unable to speak for yourself.
- Medical directives refer to the documents described above as well as a durable power of attorney.
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If you need to determine the best type of will, contact Northern Virginia Trusts and Estates today to take advantage of more than 20 years of estate planning experience.