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Virginia Estate Planning Checklist

Have you thought about what you would do if the worst was to happen and you were to suddenly pass away? The stress of losing a loved one can be compounded by the headaches produced from an estate that was left in less than pristine shape.

Dealing with lawyers and the state of Virginia after the fact can be time consuming and leave you with little time to grieve, burning you out quickly and taking you away from priorities like your family and friends.

Perhaps one of the best things that you could do for your family is to get your affairs in order early, and the best way to do that is, you guessed it, estate planning! While you might think of estate planning as simply your will, it is actually much, much more! Click here to learn more about estate planning.

Here is a checklist for Estate Planning for Virginia Residents:

  1. Create a will (or update it, if need be)
  2. Create a medical directive, which will give guidance for any medical decisions that might need to be made in the event that you become terminally ill or incapacitated. This can include removing you from life support if need be.
  3. Draft a durable power of attorney so that you can appoint someone to represent you financially.
  4. Write a letter of instruction that will let your survivors know what your final wishes are, who should be contacted, and where important documents and financial records can be found.
  5. Meet with your financial planner to assess your assets, debt and overall net worth. This will allow you to make plans for the amount of life insurance you may need as well as determine any outstanding debt you may have that may affect your survivors in the event you pass away. In certain cases, it may make sense to consider an estate planning instrument such as a revocable living trust to help protect those assets by minimizing the impact of probate.
  6. If you have children, strongly consider a guardianship and trust will so that you can designate what happens to your children in the event of your unexpected passing. Without a document such as this to outline your wishes, these decisions may be left to family members or the courts.

At Northern Virginia Trusts & Estates, we offer Estate Planning Packages starting at very reasonable rates that will ensure your legal documents match your wishes, and that important considerations such as those listed in this article are taken into consideration. With a proven track record of success in Northern Virginia, you can be sure to receive comprehensive legal services at affordable prices with us.