A complete estate plan may require more than just a will, a trust and powers of attorney. When a person with substantial assets dies, family members sometimes dispute the wording in the will and precipitate lengthy legal battles. Financing such disputes in Virginia could deplete the funds in the estate. There are some things a person could do to reduce the likelihood of family strife following their passing.
In many cases, several people are involved in settling an estate. There may be an executor, a trustee and a guardian. It's important for anyone involved in estate planning to consult with the people they select to fill those roles so that they know what's expected of them. Some people might not want to take on the tasks. Finding out in advance could help ensure that the role doesn't go to someone chosen by the court.
Wills don't require explanations. However, parents who don't want their children to fight over assets might include a document explaining why they made decisions the way they did. In addition to helping heirs understand the thought process that went into the will, a document like this could help prevent an expensive court battle. As family composition and circumstances change, the estate plan should be reviewed and revised if necessary to reflect the changes.
Planning what happens to assets after death could be a complex process. An attorney who focuses on estate planning or probate law may help a client ensure that they've covered all the bases when it comes to passing down their assets to heirs. An attorney might help a client choose the most appropriate decision-makers and draft letters of intent to explain to heirs why they chose certain people and charities to receive their assets.