Joseph H. Beale Attorney At Law, PLLC

The importance of wills and what happens to an estate

When a person passes away, it is the responsibility of the loved ones left behind to decide what happens to that person's estate, possessions and money. They also have to make decisions regarding the funeral. When a person has an estate plan, it typically outlines his or her wishes regarding these things. When there are no plans, it can cause significant complications. Wills, trusts and other planning tools can significantly benefit a Virginia family.

Dying without a will can leave a family in disarray. More often than not, family members will have disagreements regarding what should happen to the estate and how the funeral plans should work. Often, it is necessary for a family or beneficiaries to end up in court to settle the issue. There are plenty of examples of how failing to have an estate plan or not updating a plan can lead to trouble.

The majority of adults do not have a valid, updated will. One family learned the hard way why this is not a good thing when the man of the family passed away. He wanted his current wife to have the home and his assets, but he never changed beneficiary designations on important documents. As a result, his ex-wife was able to reclaim the home, and his current wife had to move in with family members.

Making an estate plan can be complicated, but it's worth the effort. Without wills and other documents, a Virginia family will have a hard time handling the estate of a loved one after his or her death. It is possible to avoid these complications by taking the time to consider and make plans.

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