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A will may not always be enough

Virginia residents and others may wonder if having a will is good enough to constitute an estate plan. For some, the answer may be yes. However, this depends on a person's needs and goals, both while alive and after passing. If someone merely wants to transfer his or her belongings to family members upon death, a will can be an effective tool. Of course, it may not be the most efficient manner to accomplish this task.

There are also estate planning tasks that cannot be accomplished with a will alone. Granting powers of attorney requires an individual to fill out a different document or set of documents. Furthermore, it may be wise to look into a living will as well as medical directives. These tools can provide a person with a greater say in the treatment that he or she receives while still alive.

While a will can be a large piece of an estate plan, it may not necessarily be enough on its own. In addition to a will, assets may be transferred using a beneficiary designation or a transferable on death (TOD) designation. This can be ideal for those who have multiple children who are sharing an asset such as a house. It can also be ideal in the event that proceeds in a bank or brokerage account are meant for a specific person.

Generally speaking, estate planning encompasses any decision that has to do with how a person organizes his or her affairs. This means that estate planning could range from creating a will or trust to determining who to name as a minor child's guardian. A lawyer may be able to assist an individual with making decisions such as who to name as an executor of an estate or whether to amend a will or trust.

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The Law Office of C.W. Roop, PLLC
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