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Secure Your Legacy With Intelligent Estate Planning

At Williams Stone, PC, we understand the profound weight of estate planning and the lasting impact it has on individuals and families across northern Virginia, including those who serve or have served in the military with integrity and courage. We are your thoughtful counsel, guiding you through the complexities of securing your legacy with clear and effective legal strategies.

Your “estate” is the inventory of everything you own – from your personal belongings, pets, cars, boats, and art collection to your real estate and nontangible assets such as your investments or intellectual property. When a person dies, their estate is distributed among their family, friends, and others following the instructions in the will. In Virginia, when you have not taken the time to create a will, a county circuit court takes on probate duties and makes decisions on how your estate will be divided according to the state’s intestate laws.

Crafting Wills And Trusts: Thoughtful, Precise, Effective

Our experienced lawyers at Williams Stone, PC, offer intelligent and thoughtful legal guidance to secure your estate, uphold your legacy with integrity and protect your family’s future. We stand ready to develop a personalized estate plan that reflects your wishes with precision. Our services include:

  • Planning for protecting your estate from creditors and excessive taxation.
  • Assisting with advance directives and power of attorney documents.
  • Drafting wills and establishing trusts.
  • Protecting the interests of minors and dependents through guardianships and conservatorships.
  • Guiding executors and administrators through estate administration.
  • Litigation needs when probate disputes arise.

Our goal is to simplify the estate planning process and safeguard your legacy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

It is said the only certainty in life is death and taxes. At Williams Stone, PC, we encourage you to create your estate plan as early as possible. Our attorneys can help you make sure the distribution of your estate proceeds as you desire and that your estate is not subject to unreasonable taxes. Here are brief answers to questions our clients frequently ask.

What is an advance directive?

Advance directives/living wills allow the signer to determine their health care decisions if they can no longer make those choices due to declining health by choosing a trusted individual who will carry out those decisions. Our lawyers acknowledge the severe and vital nature of advance directives. We can help you establish clear health care preferences and designate a trustworthy individual to uphold those decisions.

What type of power of attorney do I need?

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual (the principal) to choose a trusted individual or an organization (the agent). The principal grants the agent the power to manage his or her affairs if he or she is unable to do so. Several types of power of attorney exist. For instance, a general power of attorney will give an agent control over all legal and financial matters, while a more specific power like special, financial or medical will handle those affairs exclusively. Our lawyers provide several types of power of attorney services, such as general, special, financial, medical and durable.

What is a will, and do I really need one?

Wills are the most common path a person takes to express their preferences on how their estate will be handled. A well-written, well-planned will that adheres to the estate laws of Virginia will distribute your property to the involved parties as clearly and efficiently as possible. Our attorneys can assist you in drafting and notarizing a will, as well as working with the executor who will enforce it, and resolving any disputes between executors and beneficiaries. With our guidance, the drafting of wills becomes a streamlined process, and we stand by executors to enforce your final wishes with fidelity.

I have a will; is a trust necessary in my estate plan?

Trusts are the cornerstone of some estate plans, but not all. Depending on the nature of your assets and plans to provide future stability for your family or chosen charity, trusts are set up to distribute your estate to beneficiaries of your choosing. In this process, one appoints a trustee to protect the trust, and the beneficiaries receive the trust assets if they adhere to specific rules set up by the decedent. Trusts can either be revocable or irrevocable, depending on the client’s situation and desires. Our lawyers can help you determine which type of trust will suit you best, set up clear rules for the beneficiaries to follow, and mediate disagreements between beneficiaries and trustees.

When does estate administration happen?

One of the most crucial parts of estate planning is selecting the right individuals to handle affairs after one’s death. Many aspects, such as wills and trusts, require executors and administrators to determine the handling of those documents. The probate process also requires a chosen administrator, known as the personal representative, if a will was left behind, to assemble all the decedent’s assets, pay any remaining bills like funeral costs and taxes, and distribute what is left. We collaborate closely with your chosen representatives, providing clarity and support throughout the estate administration process.

Will I need guardianship or conservatorship?

A decedent will sometimes leave behind a minor, an elderly person or an incapacitated person who was dependent on the decedent. The court will appoint a legal guardian or a conservator to take care of the minor or the elderly/incapacitated adult. If the ward has a substantial amount of property or money, the court will appoint a financial guardian to protect the ward’s assets. Our lawyers have experience in the protection of a ward’s assets, as well as knowledge of guardianship and conservatorship matters. We are committed to defending the interests of those left vulnerable, ensuring their well-being and financial security.

What happens if I want to dispute my loved one’s will?

There will be occasions when someone contests or disputes a provision made to the will or the appointment of a personal representative. This action is known as probate ligation, as it occurs in response to the probate process handled by county circuit courts. In the face of disputes, our attorneys can guide you through the complex process of probate litigation and the statutes of limitation associated with it and try to find a solution that will reconcile the demands of all parties involved.

Estate Planning Tailored For Your Peace Of Mind

Estate planning can seem daunting, but with Williams Stone, PC, you have a partner in this journey. We prevent your estate from falling into unintended hands, ensuring your directives are followed with precision. If you are contemplating the future of your estate following your divorce or the death of a spouse, seeking to understand legal options, or aiming to shield your assets, we are your steadfast ally every step of the way. Call our office at 540-643-9260 or send us an email to make arrangements to meet with us.