Will Lawyer & Estate Planning Attorney in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia
Many people are hesitant to call an attorney for estate planning out of a concern that it may cost too much or that “now” is not a convenient time. We understand these and other concerns.
The fact is that all adults should have an estate plan in place that will help protect them and their loved ones, especially if they become severely disabled during life. As Blacksburg will lawyers and estate planning attorneys, we create cost-effective estate plans for clients in Montgomery County, Virginia, and those in the surrounding communities. We help clients protect their assets and interests during life, and ensure an efficient distribution of their assets after their death.
About Our Estate Planning Services
We offer fixed fees as well as credit card acceptance. We invite you to call today to schedule an appoint with will and estate planning lawyer Mark Hurt, who has been practicing law for more than 30 years. Mark graduated from Duke Law School with honors, and has tried cases before all Virginia court levels, Federal District and Federal Appellate Courts, and before the United States Supreme Court.
I Have a Limited Estate – Can’t I Just Tell My Family Who Should Get My Assets?
If you die without a will in Virginia, Virginia intestate law will determine who will get your assets. If doesn’t matter that you may have wanted to disinherit one child, or to give another child with disabilities more money – under Virginia law, family members of the same relationship to a deceased person must all inherit the same fair market value of assets – the personal representative of an estate cannot ignore the law.
Who Will Inherit Items of Great Sentimental Value?
Fair market value does not take into account sentimental value. A family Bible may have little market value, but it may have great sentimental value. When a personal representative is tasked with making an allocation of sentimental assets without a will, the representative may be placed in a difficult position, especially if the representative is also entitled to inherit a share of the assets.
Will Everyone Know about How a Person Wants Their Assets Distributed?
Relying upon common memories concerning how a person may have expressed their wishes for asset distribution is not wise for a number of reasons. As an example, a parent may have told one child that they are to inherit the family Bible, but no other children were present to witness this conversation. A parent may have inadvertently told two children that they each were entitled to this same inheritance.
A child may claim that “mom wanted me to get the car” when mom never made such declaration. Or mom may have had to sell the car, leaving that child to inherit less assets than the other children.
Faulty Memories and Lack of Complete Planning
Even if a parent brings all children together to announce how assets are to be distributed, the children may not all have the same recollection of such distribution wishes, particularly if many years have lapsed. The parent may also not have taken into account many other assets that may be acquired after this family conversation.
Don’t Leave a Legacy of Fighting Over Your Assets
Unfortunately, there are countless cases of families being needlessly ripped apart by bitterness caused by the lack of a will, and beneficiaries (often adult children) fighting over family heirlooms. In some cases, when there are substantial assets at stake, will contest litigation can result (which often results in legal fees eating up much of the estate).
Don’t let this be your legacy.
If You Have a Modest Estate and Uncomplicated Distribution Wishes, Your Legal Fees Will Reflect These Aspects
In determining a fixed fee a particular client’s estate planning matters, the more modest that an estate is, and the more uncomplicated their objectives are, the lower the legal fees will be for preparing an estate plan.
Our focus is on developing a clear estate plan that will best fit their needs. Not all clients will need (or benefit from) a trust. If, however, you have more substantial assets and wish for your assets to be distributed over time, a trust may be beneficial. We can help you with the aspects that need to be considered.
Please call our office to schedule a meeting so that we can learn about your estate planning needs, and how we can help give you the peace of mind and greater certainty that comes from having an estate plan in place that will benefit you and your loved ones.