Wills and Powers of Attorney in Northern Virginia

202-525-7710

A thorough estate plan includes directions to your heirs about how your finances will be distributed upon your death, as well as directives to agents who can manage your affairs in the event of sudden or temporary illness or incapacity. Working with a licensed estate planning attorney in advance is the best way to ease difficult transitions and make sure your wishes are executed in the manner you have directed. Contact us online or at 202-525-7710 to learn more about wills and powers of attorney. 

What is the Purpose of a Will in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC?

A last will and testament is a document you create to instruct how you want your property distributed upon your death. Who gets the house? Who gets which antiques? Who gets a bank account? Who takes care of the pets? These are just some of the questions upon which a will answers and instructs, and just some of the information we will obtain to draft a solid last will and testament that can stand up in probate and prevent challenges to its validity.

In order for the will to work as intended, it must adhere to proper procedures in accordance with state law. Our estate planning attorney in Washington, D.C and Northern Virginia will review your assets and discuss with you what you want with regard to your estate, then ensure that your will adheres to D.C. and Virginia state law and other relevant requirements. 

Avoiding Intestacy

If someone dies without a will, this is known as dying "intestate." Should a person die intestate, the state will step in and distribute any property. There are two key reasons to create a will, rather than relying on intestacy laws to devise your property, and the reasons relate to family and probate matters. 

Family

Intestacy laws aim to pass property in a way that most people would want it to pass, which basically means any property is passed to immediate family members first, like children, then parents, siblings, grandparents, and so on. Intestacy laws only benefit you if you are happy about your hard-earned property going to your immediate family member. 

The problem here is that the laws do not take into account whether you have stopped a relationship with a family member. This could result in property, (or even the custody of a minor child) passing to a relative whom you would not wish to be a beneficiary and/or guardian.

Probate

Property governed by intestacy law must pass through probate court, first, which can be expensive and time-consuming, leaving fewer benefits and more burdens for your loved ones. That said, a valid will also goes through probate to implement its provisions. The only difference is a well-crafted last will and testament will go through probate rather quickly and without incident because it's harder for someone to challenge it. 

Further, there are other ways to distribute property according to your wishes while also avoiding probate completely. Speaking with an estate planning lawyer will help you determine what will work best in your specific situation and with your specific assets.  

What Constitutes a Power of Attorney in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC?

To avoid a court selecting a guardian or conservator if you become ill or incapacitated, you should ensure your estate plan includes things like a living will or durable power of attorney that names a trusted person to perform these roles on your behalf. What type of document you may need will depend on your life circumstances, so speaking with an estate planning attorney in Washington, DC or Northern Virginia is important.

A power of attorney (POA) is an estate planning tool where you appoint a person, known as the agent, to manage your affairs. Typically, the POA is appointed to manage financial or medical matters when you cannot do so yourself because you are incapacitated by illness or injury. 

A power of attorney is the legal authorization for one person, the agent, to act on behalf of another person, the principal. They are a common element of estate planning as they let a person who is losing their ability to manage their own affairs choose someone they trust to make decisions for them.

People are often confused, however, as to when and which type of POA is needed. There are six types, and a licensed attorney can help determine the best type for your specific situation. 

  • Durable power of attorney 

  • Non-durable power of attorney

  • Medical power of attorney 

  • General power of attorney 

  • Limited power of attorney 

  • Springing power of attorney 

At the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez, our estate planning attorney in Washington, DC or Northern Virginia will listen to your concerns and needs, review your estate, and advise you on which POA is best for you and your unique situation. Contact us at 202-525-7710 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how and why a POA can complement your estate plan.

When is a Power of Attorney Necessary in Northern Virginia or Washington, DC?

A power of attorney is a useful tool for people who are planning their estate but who are losing the ability to understand the repercussions of their decisions and actions. By giving an agent the power to make those decisions, a principal can rest assured that someone is taking care of them.

A POA is common in the following situations:

  • The principal suffers from a worsening medical condition that impacts their mental capacity, like Alzheimer's or dementia

  • The principal is physically disabled and cannot sign important documents

  • The principal wants to give someone else the power to make specific decisions on their behalf

There are, of course, other reasons why you may need or want a power of attorney created. Speaking to an estate planning attorney in Northern Virginia is the best way for you to identify and determine what will work best for you.

Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in Washington, DC or Northern Virginia Today 

Powers of attorney are powerful tools to make sure your finances and other business or personal matters are properly managed while you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to oversee them yourself. You can speak to an estate planning attorney at the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez to discuss estate planning generally and powers of attorney as part of the estate plan specifically.

We always believe that our clients in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC make better choices for themselves and their loved ones when they are well-informed and adequately prepared. Contact us directly at 202-525-7710 or online today to schedule a consultation.

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