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Estate Planning

Estate Planning


A will, power of attorney, and advance medical directive are essential at every stage of your life. A will allows you to distribute your property as you chose, establish care and provide money for your children, and let your family and friends know your wishes upon your death. If you die without a will, the legislature directs who receives your property which may not reflect your desires.

A power of attorney is more essential than ever with an aging population and increasing number of the elderly having some form of dementia. If you become incompetent, with a power of attorney, you have chosen who will make decisions regarding your finances as opposed to the courts deciding who will make all those decisions. No matter your age, anyone can suffer a head injury or severe illness which leads to a lack of mental capacity to make financial and legal decisions. You will save your family a tremendous amount of money and enormous emotional turmoil by making a power of attorney part of your estate planning.

An advanced medical directive is essentially a medical power of attorney. Everyone needs an advance medical directive for the same reasons a power of attorney is needed. Without one, you have no say in who speaks for you directing your medical care, including end of life care.

A trust, for many people, is a better way to serve as a comprehensive and very effective means of managing your assets during your life, including if you become incapacitated and then distributing your property at your death. Generally, during your life, you serve as your own trustee and as trustee you will hold legal title and be responsible for managing all of your property. Your trustee will be responsible for investing, managing, and distributing the property as you have directed in your trust. A trust offers several advantages, the best known of which is avoiding the probate process. This can save time and money for the recipients of your property.

At Ferguson, Rawls & Raines, PC, we will prepare an excellent estate plan that is tailored to your circumstances and wishes.

Frank Rawls
Frank M. Rawls

Frank M. Rawls' primary areas of practice are business and commercial, wills and estate administration, and real estate. After graduating from law school from the University of Virginia in 1977, he has practiced continually with his current law firm. Mr. Rawls was born and reared in Suffolk, Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree, a B.A. in History, from Hampden-Sydney College. Mr. Rawls is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Virginia Trial Lawyers...

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