Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC
Estate Planning

Estate Planning Attorneys in Harrisonburg, Staunton and Lexington, Virginia Helping You Protect Your Family’s Future

Ensuring your legacy passes to those you choose

A clear and detailed plan for the future is one of the most important gifts you can offer your loved ones. By legally stating your wishes regarding medical care, distribution of your assets and other matters, you spare your family unnecessary confusion and potential conflict upon your passing. At Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver, PLC, we provide the comprehensive advice you need to complete the most comprehensive estate plan possible.  Our Virginia attorneys are proud to serve clients with their estate planning needs.

When is the right time to consider estate planning?

Estate planning is important for everyone who has an estate and dependents who require care. It’s especially important for people in these groups:

  • The elderly: As we advance in age, it becomes increasingly important for us to offer our family clear direction on our final wishes. Estate planning is especially important for elderly people with wealth and assets.
  • Parents of minor children: As a parent, you know that life is unpredictable. It’s your responsibility to protect your children by declaring your wishes for their care, their financial well-being and other issues in the event of your death or incapacitation.
  • Middle-aged individuals and couples: Increasing health risks, combined with growing assets and wealth, make it important for middle-aged individuals and couples to plan for the future.
  • People fighting illness: Facing an illness is frightening, especially when the prognosis offers little hope for recovery. Planning for what will happen after your passing is a courageous way to protect your family from having to make difficult medical or financial decisions on your behalf.
  • Guardians: Providing care for a minor child or medically dependent parent is a noble effort. If you are responsible for the financial well-being of another person, it is important to create an effective estate plan that states your wishes for their future care and financial needs.

What is involved in the estate planning process?

Completing a comprehensive estate plan involves a number of steps:

  1. First, it is important to conduct a thorough inventory of your assets. Our attorneys offer advice on how to conduct this inventory and whom to turn to for support and appraisals.
  2. Second, our lawyer will get to know your personal goals for your estate and your family. After discussing these goals, your attorney will provide advice on the estate planning vehicles that best fit your needs.
  3. Third, our staff will help you complete all necessary documentation and gather information to complete the process. Once the documentation is complete, we remain available to help you make adjustments as your life and situation changes.

Comprehensive estate planning support to Shenandoah Valley residents

With years of combined experience and a detailed knowledge of estate planning law, our staff is able to offer support to clients in the following areas:

  • Wills: Our attorneys offer detailed guidance throughout the creation of a will. We draft the most comprehensive will possible and ensure that each of your assets is addressed and your wishes are clearly stated.
  • Trusts: An effective method of distributing assets, trusts allow you to limit the amount of your estate that is taxable and place safeguards on the distribution of your assets. We offer a variety of trusts, including special needs trusts and charitable trusts.
  • Trust litigation: During the creation of a trust, an individual is named as the administrator, or trustee. This person is responsible for administering the trust. In the event that the individual fails to perform his or her assigned duties or takes action against the trust’s best interests, trust litigation may be necessary. We provide assertive trust litigation to clients who feel that a trustee has acted improperly.
  • Estate administration: Individuals who are named as agents of an estate or trust are given a great deal of responsibility and have many obligations. We offer comprehensive estate administration guidance during the process of caring for the estate and addressing the legal requirements of maintaining or executing the estate’s last wishes.
  • Probate: The legal process of reviewing and executing a will after a person’s passing is known as probate. In some cases, especially those involving a quality estate plan, probate is a relatively standard process. The probate process can be difficult to handle when someone questions the will’s validity and when beneficiaries wish to contest the terms of the will. We support families throughout the probate process and have the skill and knowledge to address even the most complex proceedings.

More than 160 years of estate planning knowledge at your fingertips

Handling your estate planning matter is important to us at Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver, PLC. Our attorneys take great care in providing the advice and support you need to choose your estate planning vehicles and achieve your goals. For guidance in Harrisonburg, Staunton and Lexington, call 540-434-0316 or contact us online today.

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