Estate planning refers to comprehensive financial planning such as making a will, using trusts or pulling together other strategies that help pass on your assets after you pass away. If you do not have a will as part of your estate planning, however, you will die intestate. This means that the courts will determine the distribution of your assets and the beneficiaries who will receive them. This might or might not be in line with what you intended for your personal estate.
Every state has individual laws about intestate succession but many of them are similar. You can accidentally provide for beneficiaries that you did not intend to support if you do not have a will created. You provide a great deal of control when using a will in conjunction with an estate planning strategy, such as a trust and when working with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer, you will learn more about this process and how to create a will accustomed to your specific needs.
At a bare minimum, your will lists the executor of your estate, the assets you own and a list of your desired beneficiaries who are to receive those assets. Without a will, a judge in court determines the disposal of your assets. Far too many people believe that when they have a small estate, they do not need to create a will at all but this can be chaotic, confusing and time consuming for your loved ones. Setting aside time to work with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to create a custom plan for your future is recommended.
Want help with a comprehensive Virginia Beach estate plan? Set up a consultation today for more information.