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Wills, Trusts, and Estates Archives

A Short Guide to West Virginia Inheritance Tax

An inheritance tax is one method states use to tax the transfer of wealth. Not to be confused with an estate tax, which is payable from the estate of the deceased, an inheritance tax is paid by a person who inherits from the deceased. For anyone who has received or is anticipating an inheritance, following is a short guide to West Virginia inheritance tax.

An Estate Administration Lawyer in WV: Your Navigator of the Probate Process

The death of a loved one brings on a world of grief for those left behind. There is often a flurry of personal emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, sadness, and despair. And if that is not enough, there are well-meaning people who call, send cards, and stop by, often asking about events surrounding the final days. Wondering whether to contact an estate administration lawyer in WV to determine how the probate process works is usually not top-of-mind during such a difficult time.

Protect Your Second Amendment Rights with the Help of a Gun Trust Lawyer

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution grants us the right to bear arms. It states as follows: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." A gun trust lawyer can help you exercise this right for yourself and your heirs.

Who Needs a Medical Power of Attorney in WV?

Most people don't want to think about what will happen to them if they are in an accident or become very ill and incapacitated. Unfortunately, not preparing for such unthinkable situations can lead to unnecessary medical care and undue stress on loved ones. Having a medical power of attorney (MPOA) in place can help alleviate such a tragic situation whether you live in West Virginia (WV) or elsewhere.

WV Estate Planning 101: Medical Power of Attorney vs Living Will

In my estate planning practice, clients frequently inquire into the distinctions between Medical Powers of Attorney and Living Wills. This is a great question because, under West Virginia (WV) law, it is not a matter of needing one or the other. There is no battle of "medical power of attorney vs living will." Instead, these documents work together as part of a comprehensive estate plan.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?

Let's start with the basics. A proper estate plan that protects both you and your assets includes the following legal documents: (1) Last Will and Testament; (2) Durable Power of Attorney; (3) Medical Power of Attorney; and (4) Living Will. In my estate planning practice, clients frequently ask: What is a Durable Power of Attorney? Since the purpose of Durable Powers of Attorney is a frequent point of discussion, below I discuss this estate planning tool's function.

Do You Need a Digital Property Estate Plan?

While there have been some rumblings about handling digital assets in the probate process in West Virginia, there has been no legislation enacted to give specific guidance. Do you need a digital property estate plan? And what is digital property anyway?

Can I Change a West Virginia Irrevocable Trust?

A trust is a common tool used to manage or pass on a person's assets. Trusts are used for a variety of purposes, such as tax planning, providing financial security for one or more trust beneficiaries, or donating to a charity; however, not all trusts are the same. The purpose or type of a trust may determine who can be a beneficiary or even whether it can be changed after it is created.

Myth Busters: Why Everyone NEEDS an Estate Plan

As an estate planning attorney, I am always surprised by the number of friends and family who have not yet completed their estate planning. For me, it seems like such an important and natural part of adulthood. One evening as I watched MythBusters, I began to think of some of the myths I encounter in my profession. For the first episode of MythBusters: Estate Planning Edition, I decided to discuss some of the most common excuses I hear to prove why everyone needs an estate plan.