When you call Bob Goodall at Goodall Pelt & Carper, P.C. ,(540)-659-3130, to ask about estate planning, we will send you for free in advance an explanation of the main things which we discuss in a face-to-face consultation, which will include a review of what you have already done. For example, you may have bank accounts with survivorship or pay-on-death (POD) provisions. You may have life insurance with designated beneficiaries. You may have beneficiaries for retirement accounts, etc. We can discuss the consequences of what you have done. It may be exactly what you want; or it may need to be changed.
Other quesstions and topics that will be discussed:
If none of these things are true for all of the people to whom you want to leave property, then a simple will may be the best plan.
With each will, we also give you a form which lets you later list specific items (things you can touch like photo albums, other items of sentimental value, household furnishings, etc.) and state who is to receive them, without formally changing your will.
If you or your spouse have children by a prior marriage; or if there is a reason not to give wealth directly to one of the people to you want to benefit, then the best plan may be to create a trust to safeguard that property to insure it actually benefits the people you intend.
If a trust is the right choice, then we create it and help you transfer assets to it. That may be a deed to transfer real estate. It may mean helping you tell an investment account broker to make the trust the owner of the investment account or to make the trust the pay-on-death beneficiary of a certificate of deposit, etc.
We create a financial power of attorney to appoint trusted agents to act in your place (and only for your benefit), if the need arises. We discuss what powers you should give.
We create an advance medical directive, to see that your wishes for your own health care will be followed, if you are unable to give those directions. We discuss your choices.
Based on your personal situation-who you want to benefit and what assets you have-we will prepare the right documents for you.