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This area of life is one of the three important areas people must consider when creating a comprehensive plan to achieve their life goals. Asset protection and financial planning are now so intertwined with Estate Planning that it requires people to consider a wide range legal, financial, emotional, and logistical issues.
Jessica Tiller helps people plan for the management of their affairs and the disposition of property, if they become disabled or die. Although many people may feel uncomfortable discussing this subject, accidents and diseases can occur at any time.
Failing to plan will cause people and their families to incur unnecessary expense, taxes, effort, delay, and stress. Below is a brief summary of the three primary documents everyone over the age of 18 needs to protect themselves:
WILL—To line out the distribution of one’s assets and property. Clients often choose to include a Trust of some kind to avoid some probate costs and for certain tax advantages.
POWER OF ATTORNEY—To appoint an agent to manage one’s financial affairs if he or she is not able to do so. This document can be drafted to become effective only if one becomes disabled or immediately upon signing.
ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVE—To appoint an agent who will:
The need for these documents only increases with life events such as property ownership, marriage, or children. They are even more important same sex couples to ensure the people they want are able to act on their behalf and inherit from them and not who Virginia defaults as their decision makers or beneficiaries.
Administration of a decedent's estate can be a long and involved process. If a person dies with a will, they die "TESTATE" and the deceased person's property, known as the "ESTATE" is passed to his or her legatees (people named in the will) as directed in the will. If a person dies without a will, the decedent dies "INTESTATE," and the estate property passes to his or her heirs according to Virginia and federal law without regard to the decedent's wishes.
This process can be an expensive and complicated matter, which usually involves filing annual accountings and probate, estate, and income taxes. If you are called on to serve as a guardian, agent, executor or trustee, Estate Planning of Charlottesville, PLLC, can assist you in navigating your legal duties and responsibilities.
A time may come when it is necessary for someone else to oversee the care of an incapacitated adult, "RESPONDENT" or "WARD". Guardianship is an arrangement determined by the court that places someone in the position to oversee the care of someone who is not able to take care for themselves. Incapacitation may occur when someone has cognitive issues due to dementia, a major stroke or severe mental illness, or another condition that affects the person’s decision-making process.
Jessica Tilleris a trained Guardian ad litem, which literally means “guardian for the suit.” She is appointed by a judge to assist the court in determining the circumstances of a matter before the court by a person seeking to establish a guardianship of the WARD.
Her fundamental responsibility will be to provide independent recommendations to the court about the WARD'S best interests, which can be different from advocating for what the client wants, and to bring balance to the decision-making process.
Other parties in the court proceeding:
The PETITIONER is the person who has brought the guardianship suit. They can be a friend or family member, or even an organization, such as Adult Protective Services.
The court will determine if guardianship is necessary and if so will appoint a GUARDIAN. He or she will make personal decisions regarding medical treatment and residential placement, etc., ensuring that the ward in their charge gets adequate health care treatment and that the ward's personal needs are met.
The court may also find the ward needs a CONSERVATOR. This person will make financial decisions, focusing on oversight of estate assets and money management.
**The petitioner, guardian, and conservator may be the same person or three different entities.
The thought of creating a will or choosing a health care agent can intimidate and overwhelm anyone. I can answer questions and put your wishes on paper.
Wills, Trust, Probate Help, and other services provided by Jessica Tiller
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