Why Make a Will?
Have you ever wondered what could happen to your possessions if you didn't have a will? Do you really want Aunt CatLady to get your jewelry? Or your estranged cousin to get your bass boat?
For some, the idea of creating a will seems completely unnecessary. Others may find the very thought overwhelming.
But never fear! Your attorney is there to walk you through the process.
Each state has its own default rules for people who do not have a will. Simply put, a will overrides the default rules so that your stuff goes to the people you want it to go to.
An attorney can walk you through the effects the default rules will have on your personal situation. Where the results of the default rules are not the same as the results you want, the attorney's role is to create a will that properly overrides the default rules.
Suppose Mr. NoWill owned land in Virginia. He was survived by his second wife and a child from his first marriage. By default, the second wife would receive 1/3 of the land, and the child would receive 2/3 of the land.
However, if the child had been born from Mr. NoWill's second marriage, the second wife would receive 100% of the land.
There are many "alternate scenario" rules like this in Virginia's default rules that could lead to less-than-desirable results for you.
A will seems like a pretty good idea, doesn't it?
Your attorney will also make sure that your will is properly executed. Virginia has set up certain requirements a document must meet in order to be a valid will. It would be a shame for you to put all that work into developing a great will, only to have a court not recognize it because it wasn't signed properly! An attorney will make sure that your documents are properly written and signed.