Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC

Local: 304.521.4571

Toll Free: 866.617.4736

Quality. Dedication. Service.

Wills, Trusts, and Estates Archives

WV Living Will: Your Life, Your Decisions

Lawyers all over the country, as well as physicians, omnibus men and others in the legal and medical professions, spend a great deal of time trying to convince us all to have a "living will." Some of us understand what a living will is, while others have vague thoughts about the living will and what can be accomplished by creating a living will. But what is a WV living will and do you really need one?

Understanding West Virginia Intestate Laws

When a West Virginian dies, the deceased's property is transferred to his or her heirs through a legal process referred to as probate. After the debts of the estate are paid, the property is devised to heirs in one of two ways: (1) if the person had a Last Will and Testament (a "will"), this means the person died "testate," and the property is transferred according to the will; or (2) if the person died without a will, the decedent is said to have died "intestate." West Virginia intestate laws then control the allocation of the decedent's property.

Are Online Wills Legal? The Frightening Truth ... Just in Time for Halloween

As an estate planning attorney, I see a lot of wills that were created online at various websites or using in fill in the blank forms. Despite a will likely being the most important financial planning document a person can have, it is astonishing how many people attempt to create their own wills without the assistance of a professional. While many view estate planning as a "morbid" or "haunting" experience, most of my clients would tell you that it is simple, necessary, and relatively painless.

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?
Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC