Estate Planning and Probate

It is never easy to think about death, especially our own. However, the alternative can be much worse. Without a valid estate plan, your loved ones would be left at the mercy of the Virginia probate system. What could be more important than ensuring the protection of the assets you’ve worked hard for and those you love? Regardless of age or health, having an estate plan is a good idea to protect your assets and provide for your family in your absence. Call the office when you’re ready to discuss such a plan for you and your family. Marie Washington can draft documents that are customized to meet your unique needs and offer true peace of mind including:

    • Last Will & Testament

A legal document that spells out how a person wants his or her property disposed of after they pass away. It can be changed during one’s lifetime and should be written to reflect your individual goals. Wills are especially important in order to appoint a guardian for minor children.

    • Durable Power of Attorney

A written document that empowers another person to act as your agent or attorney in a legal or business matter in the event you become unable to manage your own affairs.

    • Advanced Medical Directives

Instructions given by you specifying what actions should be taken for your health in the unfortunate event that you are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity, and appoints a person to make such decisions on your behalf.

    • Petition for Guardianship/Conservatorship

A Conservator is an individual who has obtained legal authority to manage the estate and financial affairs of an incapacitated adult. A Guardian is an individual appointed by the court to be responsible for the personal affairs of an incapacitated adult.

Estate Administration and Probate

Probate is the method by which the assets of a deceased person are gathered, his or her creditors paid, and the remainder of the estate distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with the decedent’s will or Virginia law. This process can be complex and challenging for family members to manage effectively, especially while mourning the passing of a loved one.

You need an experienced attorney to navigate you through the probate process effectively so you can focus on taking care of family matters during this emotional and stressful time. If your loved one left a will and named you as executor to represent the probate estate, you should seek the advice from our office to ensure that you fulfill all your legal responsibilities. If an estate plan was not in place, Marie Washington can help you simplify the probate process and administer the estate according to the law and how you believe your loved one would have wanted.