Barboursville Estate Planning Lawyer Protects Clients’ Intentions
Cabell County firm assists with wills and long-term care arrangements
No one can foresee the future, but people can take certain steps to safeguard themselves and their families if something unexpected occurs. Herrenkohl Law Office in Barboursville and Beckley offers a whole host of estate planning services to clients throughout southern West Virginia. Whether you need a will to be drafted, are interested in establishing a trust or are concerned about qualifying for the Medicaid benefits you might need for nursing home care, my firm outlines the available options and handles the necessary tasks once you have decided how to proceed.
Trusts and estates attorney prepares documents to transfer assets
Regardless of your age or the size of your potential estate, you deserve to decide how your property should be distributed after you’re gone. Unless you have a valid plan in place, that might not happen. The property of someone who dies without a proper legal instrument goes to one or more family members based on the priority order set within the states intestacy law. Working with a qualified estate planning attorney gives you the chance to leave the legacy you wish through legal instruments such as:
- Wills — In West Virginia, valid wills must be signed by two witnesses. My firm makes sure that all of the legal formalities are observed while developing a document that accurately reflects your circumstances and decisions. I’ll go over a wide range of potential concerns, such as contingencies in case one of your named heirs passes before you. Should you already have a will in place, it’s wise to review the document frequently to see if your intentions have changed. When revisions are warranted, I can draft a revision or codicil for you.
- Trusts — Various estate planning needs can be addressed through a well-drafted trust. Some people use these instruments to fund a charitable cause, lower estate tax liability or direct how the funds they leave will be spent. A popular option is a revocable living trust that holds someone’s assets, but still allows them to use them at any time throughout their life. Then, upon the trust creator’s death, any remaining property in the trust is shifted to named beneficiaries without having to go through the probate process.
- Guardianship instructions — If you have a minor child or are legally responsible for a disabled adult, leaving clear instructions about guardianship or conservatorship is an important responsibility. After reviewing what type of supervision is required, my firm offers compassionate counsel regarding who might be the best guardian. From there, I draft a clear document expressing your wishes and can also help set up mechanisms to support your child financially in the event that he or she is orphaned.
Some people might be reluctant to discuss estate planning issues, but I give each client knowledgeable, compassionate guidance so they can gain the peace of mind that comes with making responsible decisions.
Firm drafts power of attorney documents for use in a medical emergency
Effective elder law planning involves more than making decisions about how to distribute property upon your death. If you’re incapacitated by a sudden illness or injury, key personal and medical decisions might be made without your input. I prepare a variety of documents for West Virginians so they can maintain control and save their family from having to make very difficult decisions if needed. With a medical power of attorney, you can outline what type of treatment you’d like and designate someone to handle these decisions. You might also choose to establish a living will that specifies whether you want extraordinary measures to be taken in order to prolong your life and a durable power of attorney if you want a trusted person to manage your legal and financial issues during your period of incapacity.
Probate lawyer assists beneficiaries and executors in will contests
Sometimes, a family member or some other person who claims to be a beneficiary may question the validity of a will. These situations sometimes arise if an elderly person makes changes to their testamentary documents shortly before passing away. If you suspect that a will might not accurately reflect the testator’s intentions due to fraud, duress, mistake or incapacity, a qualified estate planning lawyer can advise you regarding your legal options and the procedure associated with a will contest.
Contact an experienced West Virginia estate planning lawyer for a consultation
Located in Barboursville and Beckley, Herrenkohl Law Office advises West Virginia clients on wills, trusts and other estate planning options. To make an appointment, please call 304-948-5860 or contact me online.