Why should people have a legal will?

Death always comes unannounced. While we can’t prepare enough for what is to happen, we can always ensure our family and loved ones don’t suffer financially after our demise. Preparing a will is arguably one of the best ways to prepare your family for your absence. With a will, you can offer legal protection to your spouse and children as well as spell out how the assets and money would be handled after you.

Since will planning and estate management is a complex task; one should seek help from an estate planning law firm Virginia Beach.  If you are contemplating whether or not you should have a will prepared, here are some top reasons to have a will.

Minimise Family Disputes:

You can decide how your assets and estate will be distributed amongst the rest of the family members with a will. A will is a legal document that allows a person to decide how his survivors will handle his wealth and estate after his death. There are instances where a person dies without drawing any will. There is no guarantee that your family will get the intended share of the estate in such a scenario. The chances of family disputes are higher if there is no legal will. With a properly written will, you can minimize any family feud that may arise over the property and assets.

You can ensure your minor children are well-taken care of:

You can determine who will look after your minor children after your demise with an adequately planned will. In situations when there is no valid will, the court may assign a legal guardian from the family or select a state-appointed custodian. Will allows you to choose and appoint the person you think is best suited to raise your children after you are not in their lives anymore.

Avoid probate process:

Probate is a lengthy and complicated process that can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. All estate goes through probate. The probate process is required to determine how an estate will be managed and administered after a person’s death. If you have already drawn a will, the probate court would know how you want your estate and assets divided amongst the surviving members.

Minimise estate tax:

Drawing will also help in minimizing estate taxes. When you give away your wealth to other family members or charity, it reduces your estate’s value. This eventually reduces the estate taxes to be paid.

You can assign a trustee to manage your estate:

With a properly written will, you can determine who will look after your affairs after you are gone. You can assign an individual from your close network to carry out all essential tasks like payment of bills, notifying the bank and other businesses. Executors play a crucial role in determining the proper administration of the estate. Thus, estate planning attorney Virginia Beach advises one to choose someone who they can trust blindly.

Avoid legal complications and challenges: 

There are chances that the entire estate or part of it may go to someone who shouldn’t get it in the absence of a legal will.…

Connecting Children with Charity: Paper Cranes for Japan

As parents, we have the opportunity to teach our children compassion and empathy, to expand their perspective of the world, and to instil in them a sense that they have the power to make the world a better place. Estate planning is an opportunity to continue this teaching process. As Silicon Valley attorney John Hopkins says, when parents leave a portion of their estate to charity, when they treat the community as extended family, they pass along a powerful personal legacy to their children in addition to their wealth.

Estate plans do have their limitations though a testamentary gift in a will or trust will not do much to instill philanthropic values in children if parents miss the opportunity to do so during their lifetimes. John Hopkins, Jon and Eileen Gallo and others emphasize the need to start young. The letters posted at The Giving Pledge reveal that some of our biggest philanthropists learned the value of giving from their own parents.

The challenge for parents is to find opportunities for volunteering and charitable giving that are meaningful and age-appropriate. Students Rebuild, in partnership with DoSomething.org and Architecture for Humanity, has launched Paper Cranes for Japan. This project involves making paper cranes to represent a message of support and healing for Japan and to cause a gift to be made by the Bezos Family Foundation.

These simple yet powerful gestures will trigger a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation – $2 for each crane received – to Architecture for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Japan. Once we reach our goal of 100,000 submissions, the cranes will be woven into an art installation – a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.

The Paper Cranes for Japan project is also an example of how philanthropy is changing it demonstrates how technology provides the opportunity for many individuals to coordinate efforts to make a substantial impact. Somehow I believe we’ll see more than 100,000 paper cranes.…

Making Donations to Help the People of Japan

The first thing I do each morning these days is to check the Daily Beast and Huffington Post for news about Japan. The stories break my heart. I come from a family that has survived earthquakes. My grandmother’s sister used to tell me stories about the 1906 earthquake — how scared and confused she and the other children were, how the family lost their business and their home, how they left San Francisco to start over in West Oakland. I can’t imagine what families must be experiencing today in Japan.

What I do know is that I want to help, and others here in the United States want to help, through charitable donations. Taxgirl has posted some things to keep in mind when making charitable gifts for disaster relief in Japan such as. The first thing I do each morning these days is to check the Daily Beast and Huffington Post for news about Japan. The stories break my heart.

I come from a family that has survived earthquakes. My grandmother’s sister used to tell me stories about the 1906 earthquake how scared and confused she and the other children were, how the family lost their business and their home, how they left San Francisco to start over in West Oakland. I can’t imagine what families must be experiencing today in Japan. What I do know is that I want to help, and others here in the United States want to help, through charitable donations.…

Estate Tax Set to Expire

As we enter the last quarter of 2020, the future of the federal estate tax remains uncertain.


•Will the estate tax be repealed for a year in 2021?


•Will Congress enact major tax legislation by the end of 2020? (Also doubtful more likely, we will see a one-year fix to avoid repeal in 20120)


•Will the federal estate tax exemption revert to $1,000,000 in 2021 or will Congress increase the exemption, perhaps by freezing the exemption at 200 levels as suggested by the Obama administration? (A couple months ago USWU predicted a $3.5 million exemption, but I have to admit that suspense about this question is building.)


•Will the top tax rate by 55% or 45%? (Probably 45% in 2024 (the one-year quick fix), but who knows about 2021)…