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  • Although the thought of estate planning can make people uncomfortable, it is not something to be afraid of. Estate planning involves organizing your legal, financial, and medical preferences in case of incapacitation or death, ensuring your assets and loved ones are protected after your passing.

    Without a proper estate plan, probate, taxes, debt, and family conflicts can diminish the value of your estate and hinder the fulfillment of your wishes. To ensure your estate is handled according to your desires, it is essential to establish a comprehensive estate plan. At Anchor Legal Group, PLLC, our highly experienced estate planning lawyers in Newport News offer exceptional advice and knowledge. We are dedicated to helping you create an estate plan that clearly communicates your intentions and safeguards your loved ones now and for future generations.

    What Key Components Should Be Included in My Estate Plan?

    It is never too early to start estate planning, especially if you have a family, home, children, or other assets you want to protect after your passing. By beginning early, you can ensure your wishes are fulfilled and your loved ones are safeguarded. An estate plan comprises various elements that specify how your assets are distributed and who can make decisions on your behalf before and after your death. At a minimum, the critical components of an estate plan include:

    • Last will and testament: This legal document outlines your wishes regarding the management of your estate, the distribution of your assets, and the guardianship of minor children after your death.
    • Power of attorney: This assigns someone the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
    • Living will/advance directives: Also known as a healthcare proxy, this legal document appoints someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot do so.
    • Trust: A legal entity that manages and distributes your assets according to your wishes. There are various types of trusts, and not all may be suitable for every situation.

    What Age Should I Make a Will?


    In Virginia, it is advisable to create a will as soon as you can legally do so, at 18. While many may think that wills are only necessary later in life, unexpected events can happen at any age, making it crucial to document your wishes. A will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your preferences, appoints guardians for minor children, and helps prevent family disputes.

    By creating a will early, you can provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones, knowing that your affairs are in order. Additionally, as life circumstances change, such as marriage, having children, divorce, or acquiring significant assets, it is important to update your will regularly to reflect your current wishes.

    What Are Common Estate Planning Mistakes?

    Estate planning can help maximize the value of your estate, but unintended errors and oversights can prevent your plan from achieving your intentions or goals. Common mistakes include:

    • Not having an estate plan.
    • Failing to name beneficiaries or naming only one.
    • Not planning for incapacitation or disability.
    • Choosing the wrong executor.
    • Adding a child’s name to house deeds.
    • Neglecting to appoint legal, financial, or medical powers of attorney.
    • Omitting final wishes and arrangements.
    • Overlooking digital assets.
    • Failing to update the plan regularly.

    To avoid these errors, it is best to hire a knowledgeable and experienced Newport News estate planning lawyer who can help ensure your estate plan is accurate, thorough, and effective.

    How Can I Prepare for Estate Planning?

    Before meeting with your Newport News estate planning lawyer, preparing a range of important documents and decisions is essential. Consider the following estate planning checklist:

    • Identity documents: Gather documents your executor or family members will need to close accounts, such as Social Security cards, passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates.
    • Last will and testament: Decide on the executor to carry out your will, name a guardian for children and pets, and list your assets and their intended recipients.
    • Power of attorney: Assign a trusted person to make financial decisions on your behalf and specify what should happen to your finances if you become incapacitated.
    • Advance directives: Identify and outline your healthcare preferences and directives in case you are unable to make your own decisions, and designate a medical power of attorney.
    • Trusts: Determine if you want to create a living, revocable, irrevocable, or another type of trust, and name beneficiaries to manage it.
    • Beneficiaries: Choose the beneficiaries to be included in your will.
    • Insurance policies: Identify your insurance policies, such as health, life, home, or funeral insurance.
    • Financial accounts: Compile documents for your financial and investment accounts, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and investment, retirement, or pension accounts.
    • Property information: Gather information on any property and assets you own, such as your home, vehicles, or businesses.
    • Home and utility information: Collect policies, rental agreements, and a list of utility bills in your name.
    • Digital accounts: Create a list of digital accounts and assets, including financial and banking, social media, email, and streaming accounts, along with passwords and login information.
    • Final arrangements: Decide on the disposition of your remains, the type of funeral service, preferred funeral home and burial site, participants such as pallbearers, and details of any existing paid funeral policies.

    Having these documents and decisions prepared will help ensure your estate plan is comprehensive and meets your wishes.

    Why Choose Anchor Legal Group, PLLC for Your Estate Planning Needs

    Estate planning allows you to provide for your family by creating a will, establishing a trust, executing a healthcare and financial power of attorney, a living will, and more. If you are ready to start estate planning, you need an experienced lawyer to protect your and your loved ones’ interests. At Anchor Legal Group, PLLC, our Newport News estate planning lawyers can assist you with the following:

    • Simple and complex wills
    • Durable and limited powers of attorney
    • Advance directives, including living wills, healthcare proxies, and medical visitations
    • Revocable and irrevocable trusts
    • Life insurance trusts
    • Special needs trusts
    • Foundations
    • Charitable remainder trusts
    • Estate and gift tax determinations

    We are here to help you create a comprehensive estate plan tailored to your needs.

    Our Newport News Estate Planning Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC Will Help You Prepare for Your Future and Protect Your Loved Ones A well-prepared estate plan ensures your wishes are carried out and protects you and your loved ones for years to come. If you want to create an estate plan or update an existing one, our experienced Newport News estate planning lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC are here to help. We can answer your questions, provide valuable advice, and help you establish clear directives for your care and estate before and after your passing. Call 757-LAW-0000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Eastern Shore, Virginia.

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    Local Areas We Serve

    VIRGINIA

    • Virginia Beach
    • Chesapeake
    • Norfolk
    • Suffolk
    • Portsmouth
    • Newport News
    • Hampton
    • Eastern Shore
    • Williamsburg

    Also Serving Clients Nationwide

    Anchor Legal Group, PLLC Helps Clients with Various Legal Needs

    We view it as a special privilege to deliver the best possible outcome, regardless of our clients’ legal needs. At Anchor Legal Group, PLLC, this is our mission and our calling. We invite you to learn more about how our legal team can help you by contacting us online or by calling us today at 757-LAW-0000 to schedule a consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Eastern Shore. We also serve our clients throughout the United States through our network of associated attorneys.