Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Why accurate, up-to-date estate plans are important

When Virginia residents think about the future, they may want to make plans for how their assets will be distributed after they pass away. By preparing a will or creating a trust, people can plan to leave their property to their loved ones. If people do not have a will, their belongings will be distributed in accordance with the state's intestacy law. In an attempt to save money while creating an estate plan, some people may rely on forms in order to make a will on their own.

These documents may serve their purpose, but complications can also arise. In one case that reached the Florida Supreme Court, a woman used a do-it-yourself will form to leave her belongings to her sister and, if she died first, to her brother. While she carefully listed out all of her possessions at the time, including her account numbers and details for her banking, the will form did not contain a residuary clause. This type of clause manages the distribution of items that are not specified explicitly in the will.

The woman's sister predeceased her, and she received a significant inheritance, including real estate. However, she did not update her will. As a result, when she passed away, two of her nieces received the real estate and other inheritance through state intestacy law. While her brother sued in court, he was unable to prevail due to the lack of a residuary clause. The legal dispute consumed a significant amount of time and money as well as disrupting family harmony.

While people are planning for the future, it is important for them to ensure their documents are accurate and up-to-date. An estate planning attorney may help people draft wills, trusts and other instruments to protect their assets.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Consult With Us Today

Call 804-206-8538 to schedule a confidential consultation or fill out the form below to send us an email:

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Coates & Davenport, P.C.
5206 Markel Road Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23230

Phone: 804-729-5537
Fax: 804-285-2849
Fax: 804-285-3426
Richmond Law Office Map