Without a Will (“intestate”), the Virginia General Assembly by statute determines to whom your assets go and a loved one must apply to the court to become administrator. Or if you and your spouse die together, the court appoints someone to administer your assets for your children until they reach the age of eighteen years.
With a Will (“testate”), you appoint the Executor of your estate and you direct in detail how your assets are distributed. The Executor simply records your Will in Circuit Court and qualifies as the person responsible for following your wishes as expressed in the Will. You are able to give specific items to particular loved ones, a necklace to a niece, a rifle to a grandson, whatever you decide. If both you and your spouse are deceased, you appoint the trustee to handle your assets for the benefit of your minor children, and determine what age the child must reach before the money is paid over to the child, free and clear from the terms of the trust.
Without a Power of Attorney, a family member must hire an attorney to file a guardianship petition and you, as the incompetent loved one, are represented by an attorney appointed by the court to protect your interests. Medical evidence must support the petition. It’s a very expensive way to have someone be able to pay the bills, take care of the house and make medical decisions for you that you are unable to make.
With a Power of Attorney signed in advance, if and when the misfortune occurs, the Power of Attorney is immediately available to the loved one whom you choose to see to your affairs and make health care decisions for you, avoiding the needless expense of court proceedings.
Without an Advance Medical Directive, the doctors and family members (who may disagree) decide first, whether, to begin with, you are capable of making a medical decision and if they conclude you are incapable, they decide to whether disconnect or discontinue any treatment which is prolonging your life.
With an Advance Medical Directive, as suggested by the Virginia General Assembly, you define when you are incapable of making a medical decision and you appoint a specific person, and an alternate, to whom you have already expressed your wishes in advance, to make that decision on your behalf.
The combination package questionnaire and engagement letter is available here. Please feel free to call us at 540-943-0932 or Contact Us to ask us to mail you the engagement letter and the questionnaire. Sign and complete both of them and snail mail or email them to Bruce K. Tyler, P.C., 129 Afton Depot Lane, Afton VA 22920 or Contact Us, along with either $225 per person, or $400 for a married couple. We are able to send you an invoice if you prefer to pay by credit card. Just let us know. OR electronically initial the engagement letter, complete the questionnaire online and pay either $225 per person or $400 for a married couple by using PayPal. When we receive the questionnaire and payment, we will mail you a draft of the will only, make any necessary changes by telephone conference and schedule you for a signing ceremony here in Afton, or at your request, send you all three documents with instructions on how on how to properly execute a will at home or the office.