A will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have, as it helps protect your family and loved ones as well as your property in the case of your death. A will allows you to leave your property to individuals or organizations, assign a personal guardian to care for children who are minors, name an individual to manage property you leave to your minor children, and name an executor who can ensure that the terms of your will are adhered to. While some wills are straightforward, each situation is unique and complex situations often arise, so it is often in your best interest to work with a Fairfax wills attorney. At S&R Law Firm, we are dedicated to working with you personally to create a will that is suited to your unique needs.Does Everyone Need a Will?
While there are many estate planning methods, a will is among the most popular and crucial. Although Virginia law does not require that you have a will, it is a good idea to have one as it will make decisions significantly easier for your loved ones after your death.
That said, if you happen to die without a will, Virginia’s intestacy laws will determine how your property is handled. According to Virginia Code 64.2, after your death, property will first be given to your closest relatives, starting with your spouse and children. If you do not have either of these, your parents or grandchildren will receive your property, and so on through more distant relatives. If you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, your property will be taken by the state.
As you can imagine, if you do not have a will, the Commonwealth may distribute your assets and belongings in ways that don’t correspond to your wishes or those of your loved ones. This can result in serious family disagreements, rifts in relationships, and even lawsuits among family members. A wills attorney serving Fairfax can draw up a will that clarifies who will receive your property after your death, who will ensure that your property is distributed according to your preferences, and who will become the guardian of any minor children.
In complex cases, a Virginia estate planning lawyer will be especially useful. For example, if you plan to disinherit your spouse, undergo a divorce but want your spouse to remain the recipient of your property, or are worried that someone might contest how your property will be distributed, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney.
A Fairfax wills attorney can help tailor your will to your individual situation and ensure that decisions are made according to your preferences. At S&R Law Firm, we are committed to working with each client individually, helping them fully understand their options, and assisting them in making decisions that are best for themselves and their loved ones.Revoking or Changing Your Will
Virginia wills can be revoked or changed at any time. It is a good idea to review your will frequently to make sure that any life changes you have experienced are accounted for. Under Virginia Code 64.2-410, you can legally revoke your will by simply destroying it with the intent to revoke it (by cutting, tearing up, burning, or otherwise canceling it). You can also ask someone to destroy it for you in front of you.
While these are legally acceptable ways to revoke a will, a better choice is to create a new will that states that its terms are different from those in the previous will or that it revokes the previous will. If you want to make only minor changes to your will, you can add what is known as an amendment or a codicil. A wills lawyer in Fairfax can help with this.
If you have questions or concerns about your will, S&R Law Firm can help. Our experienced estate planning attorneys will help you better understand how a will works, guide you through the process of creating one, and give you peace of mind that your affairs are in order.
Get in touch with us today at 703-273-6431.