Joseph H. Beale Attorney At Law, PLLC

Virginia Legal Blog

Wills and estate planning steps for unmarried adults

Unmarried adults often believe they have no need for an estate plan, especially if they are young and healthy. In reality, drafting wills and having certain plans in place is a smart step, no matter a person's marital status, income level or age. In Virginia and elsewhere, there are significant benefits to planning for the future, both for the individual and for his or her loved ones. 

One of the most important steps for a single person who does not currently have an estate plan is to draft a will. This allows a person to decide what will happen to his or her property and assets in case of death, and even plan for the care of a beloved pet. Another consideration for a single person's estate plan is to draft documents for medical purposes and in case of incapacitation. This includes power of attorney and establishing a health care proxy.

Help yourself and your children with these co-parenting tips

Co-parenting is all what you make of it. If you don't want things to work out, you'll always find a reason to argue with your ex-spouse. Conversely, if you're devoted to providing your children with the best life possible, you'll always find a way to make things work.

There are a variety of tips you can follow to help yourself and your children during this often stressful time. Here are five to consider:

  • Think about everyone's feelings: Don't focus so much on your feelings that you overlook what's best for your children. Just the same, spend some time thinking about your ex-spouse, as this person is in the same position as you.
  • Keep an open mind with schedules: Yes, a schedule is extremely important when co-parenting, as it helps keep both parents on the same page. It also gives your children a clear idea of where they'll be every day of the week. However, there are times when you have to adjust your schedule, such as if your children have an extracurricular activity or your ex is out of town.
  • Pick your battles wisely: As tempting as it is to argue with your ex about everything, this will only add stress to your situation. Pick your battles wisely, while getting into the habit of letting the small things roll off your back.
  • Know how to effectively communicate: It's up to you and your ex to settle on the best way to communicate. If you're able to get along, this won't be an issue. Conversely, if you're always fighting, it's often best to communicate via text or email.
  • Don't get in the way during visits: When your children are with their other parent, find something to occupy your mind. This ensures that you aren't calling or texting your children, which could upset your ex.

Preparing well can make the divorce process smoother

The process of ending a marriage is not easy. Even when both parties decide this is the best step and resolve to work together amicably, there are complex issues at hand and strong emotions with any divorce. If a Virginia reader is facing the divorce process, one specific way to reduce complications is to gather all appropriate documentation and get organized before moving forward. 

The outcome of a divorce will impact a person for years to come, and it is beneficial to pursue terms that are reasonable and sustainable. This starts in the earliest stages in the divorce process, beginning with taking a thorough financial inventory of everything from marital property to retirement accounts to insurance policies. Organizing all pertinent paperwork and documentation will help a person access important information during the divorce process quickly and easily.

Wills not commonly utilized by those over 55

Estate planning might seem as if it is making headlines more and more frequently. From when to consider creating wills to how to handle digital assets, information is everywhere. Despite this, some people in West Virginia still do not fully understand the importance of wills, powers of attorney and other essential estate planning documents.This is particularly true for a certain age group.

While most people might expect younger generations to struggle with the concept of a finite life and the need of estate protections, few might expect those over the age of 55 to deal with the same issues. Merrill Lynch and Age Wave recently conducted a study of 3,000 people over the age of 55 and discovered that many lack important estate planning protections. Despite a prevailing consensus that it is best to implement an estate plan before turning 50, only 55 percent of people in this age group have a will.

Are couples that marry on Valentine’s Day more likely to divorce?

Many couples and singletons dream about getting married on Valentine’s Day. The holiday is known for its romance, so a Valentine’s wedding would make perfect sense.

However, the romantic spell of Valentine’s Day does not guarantee a marriage’s success. To the contrary, it could indicate a rocky time. A recent study suggests that couples who marry on Valentine’s Day are more likely to divorce than other spouses.

What are the limitations of wills?

Virginia readers know that drafting a will is an integral part of the estate planning process. This is the document by which a person outlines what he or she wants to happen to personal property and other matters after he or she passes away. However, there are significant limitations to what wills can accomplish, and each person would be wise to determine what other documents and protections they may need. 

When thinking about estate planning, most people think about a will. This document can provide many protections, but there are certain things it cannot do. For example, a person cannot include any provisions of disability planning in his or her will. Wills only take affect when a person dies, but there are tools that allow him or her to make plans in case of an incapacitating illness or injury in the future.

Overlooked reasons for divorce

Divorce doesn't always happen for dramatic reasons like infidelity, substance abuse or an endless cycle of arguments. While these things absolutely do happen, it's important to remember that there can also be many smaller, often overlooked reasons that can contribute to divorce.

Are you wondering if one of those reasons could end your marriage? A few examples of more subtle indicators of divorce include:

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