How much does it cost to have an attorney complete my estate plan?
Our standard initial consultation fee for Virginia estate planning and asset protection matters is $500, but we will waive that fee if you do your “homework” prior to coming in for the appointment. When you set up an appointment, we will send you a questionnaire designed to gather preliminary information about your concerns/objectives and about the nature and extent of your assets. The initial consultation meeting lasts about one hour. After that, you can decide to retain us (most do) and we will discuss our flat-no-surprise fee then. There will never be any surprise fees.
What if my husband/wife told me that they already did our plans?
No one can make plans for your property without you signing legal papers that gives them to right to do so. Unless your spouse or another person has a power-of-attorney over all of your legal matters, no one can make plans without you participating in and agreeing to the plans.
What are some documents that I may need?
Our basic estate plans consist of a will (with or without an accompanying trust), a Child Safety Strategy (if needed), a power-of-attorney, an advanced health care directive, a HIPPA waiver form, memorial instructions and a binder organizing all of your assets and documents.
What can I expect from this process?
- An initial consolation
- After retaining our firm, we will begin drafting, working with you to get all the details we need.
- Signing with witnesses and a notary
- Fund your trust, inform your nominees and guardians for your children
What is a will?
A Last Will and Testament lays out your wishes for what happens when you die. It can direct what happens to your children, your home, and other assets. Having a will is a good idea for everyone over the age of 18. Often younger adults feel that because they “don’t have anything” they don’t need a will. In truth, many probate battles occur due to young people who pass away without a plan in place.
What is a trust?
There are several types of Trusts. Nearly every plan we put together has some type of trust involved. At its most basic level, a trust is simply a relationship between a Trustee and a Beneficiary. The Trustee is the person in charge of managing the assets held in Trust and the Beneficiary is the person who should benefit from the assets held in Trust. Trusts are a great tool for protecting assets from creditors and predators. Some trusts offer more protection than others. The most common trust form is the Testamentary Trust, which is created by your will. Its purpose is to offer protection to you beneficiaries so they don’t lose the assets to creditors and predators. Every person should consider having a trust as part of their overall estate plan.
Why do I need an advanced health care directive?
A Medical Power of Attorney gives another person the right to make medical decisions for you only if you are unable to make the decisions for yourself. If you have the capacity to know what is going on around you, the doctor’s will look to you for decision making.