An estate plan with a will and any necessary trusts can protect your assets and ensure that your family receives the assets you wish without a lengthy and complicated probate process. Many people begin an estate plan without a thorough understanding of the requirements.
There are some common questions that people have when they start estate planning.
1. What happens if a witness dies?
Virginia requires two witnesses to confirm the validity and integrity of a will. Virginia also requires having a document called a self proving affidavit at the end of your Will that is witnessed by two individuals and also notarized. As long as your Will has such affidavit then there are no issues if a witness has passed away. If there is no self-proving affidavit with the Will, then the witnesses may have to be located to attest to having witnessed the Will and if one has passed away, that can cause an issue.
2. Can you store a will in a safe deposit box?
If you plan to store a copy of your will in a safe deposit box, plan ahead for future access. Add at least one other person, preferably more, so that someone can access your will after you pass away.
3. Can you put your house in a trust if you have a mortgage?
You might worry that a mortgage precludes you from putting your home in a trust. A trust designation does not alter your mortgage in any way, nor does it trigger a call on the mortgage.
Estate planning requires careful preparation and documentation. Understand the facts about your estate plan to ensure that you have your affairs in order.