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Wills and trusts: Don't delay planning for the inevitable

Planning for the inevitable event of death can protect loved ones and save them from facing difficult situations. It goes without saying that planning for death is one of the most important things a person can do, yet so many families in Virginia put it off until it's too late. Procrastination is common in estate planning but, contrary to popular belief, the process does not have to be complex or confusing. Wills and trusts can easily be created to ensure that assets are protected and remain in the family. Here are a few tips to help families secure their futures.

The first thing to do in this process is to make a list of all possessions. Take inventory of all property, assets and valuables. To ensure that these things get passed down properly, be sure to also indicate who will get these assets.

The two most popular ways to ensure that assets get passed down appropriately are with wills and trusts. A will is a document that describes how assets are to be distributed and also how dependents are cared for in the event of death. Trusts are similar to wills, but several different types of trusts exist. A trust can be executed prior to death and allows a predesignated person, known as a trustee, to hold assets for beneficiaries. Unlike wills, trusts can skip the probate process allowing for quicker distribution of assets.

Although most families acknowledge that planning for death is important, they may also be under the impression that this process is difficult or confusing, so they put it off. One of the most important things families can do during this time is to seek professional assistance. Those in Virginia who have questions regarding wills and trusts could obtain much-needed guidance by consulting an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.

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