Reasons Why You Need the Last Will and Testament in Virginia
While this may come out as ‘you can wing it’ kind of advice, it is not. At the end of this article, we are certain that you will run online to download a free Virginia last will and testament to get started.
The last will represents your declaration for the distribution of your assets and the care of your minor children or dependent adults upon your death. When done right, the probate court will validate the will, and your beneficiaries will receive their share of the estate as per your directions. In simple terms, the last will communicates your explicit orders regarding the estate you worked hard to create.
Unfortunately, most people fail to create wills leaving their families at the mercy of the state. Often, the outcome from the state’s intervention represents nothing you would wish to happen. The worst bit is that families end up feuding because you did not spell out your wishes regarding asset distribution. And as you will see below, there are other reasons that will force you to create a will sooner than you though. These reasons include:
When you have minor kids
This is given. Without kids, you don’t think much about wills and the only reason why you may think about it is if you want to protect your assets. However, as soon as you have kids, every parent will tell you that your life and hard work becomes more about your kids than yourself. Caring for your kids is second nature meaning you will do everything you can for their wellbeing. One of those things is to include them in the will. But it does not stop there. You will name someone as the guardian of your kids in case both of you die at the same time or if the other parent is unavailable. In the regular setting, we call them godparents. Even though people feel good when named godparents, you should talk to them about their responsibilities and then put down their names in writing in the will to make things legal.
If you sense sibling rivalry
You must create a will and name all the parties to your estate, as well as the percentage of your estate they will inherit if you note that your kids have an unspoken rivalry. Even if things look all good now, grief may worsen things, and you don’t them fighting about why one got more inheritance than the other. You may want to appoint a professional fiduciary as the trustee to the estate or someone who will not get caught in the rivalry.
You might want to find ways of mitigating issues that could result from disparities in the economic status of the beneficiaries.
When you want to make the inheritance conditional
By this, we mean considering contingency plans that will prevent a primary beneficiary from squandering the inheritance. For instance, a dependent with chemical dependency may also get their inheritance after it’s proven that they are clean. The trustee has to certify when the beneficiary can receive the inheritance.
When you need to create a trust to protect the interests of your loved ones
A free last will and testament in Virginia will help you create irrevocable testamentary trusts whose main role is to protect your affairs. There are different types of trusts you could create, among them: education trust for asset accumulation, dynasty trust to keep the assets or business in the family, or a special needs trust to care for a special needs dependent. You could also create a credit shelter trust for tax planning purposes where a large estate is involved, or a disclaimer trust to protect your spouse’s assets. You could also create a will with a testamentary pet trust.
When you get married, get a divorce, you remarry or are in a blended family.
Family dynamics necessitate the creation of a will. If you remarry, get a divorce, or are in a blended family, the names of beneficiaries will change. You should, therefore, consider getting some legal help to facilitate the creation of a legal and challenge-proof will.
The state’s ruling hardly represents your wishes.
- If at the time of your passing you do not have a will created, the state will invoke intestacy laws and regard your estate intestate. Under the intestacy laws, your surviving spouse inherits everything unless you have kids (not related to the spouse) where the state will rule that the spouse inherits a third of estate and the kids inherit two-thirds.
- If you don’t have a surviving spouse, kids inherit the entire estate.
- And in the absence of surviving kids or a spouse, your estate is inherited by your parents or siblings or any other relative close to you.
Taking all these into account, it is imperative to create a last will which sticks in the probate court.
For its validity, you must meet the following requirements:
As per code section 64.1-46, et seq.’s requirements, you should be an adult (above 18 years), of sound mind, and you should sign the will. For the validity of the signature, you must sign the will or have someone you trust sign it for you under your direction. You also need 2 or more witnesses (not beneficiaries) to sign the will confirming that you signed the will or that the person you asked to sign the will did it following your explicit directions.
You have to list your beneficiaries. There is no limit to who gets on the list.
The will must be in writing. But holographic or handwritten wills are also acceptable as long as 2 disinterested persons are willing to vouch for the testator’s handwriting.
Changing the will
You can change your will at any time – all you need is a codicil which is an amendment following the execution procedure for the creation of wills.
Revoking the will
By executing a codicil or a subsequent will, the powers of a will are rescinded. Also, you could revoke it if you destroy it by burning it, tearing, obliterating, or canceling it with the intention to revoke.
Whether you live in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, Norfolk, Alexandria, Williamsburg, or any other city in Virginia, you can use our free last will and testament downloadable online to create a last will.