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Wills, Trusts, and Estates Archives

The Hazards of Not Having a Will in West Virginia

Did you know that not having a valid last will and testament is risky business? If you have specific wishes about how your estate should be distributed after your death, don't leave those wishes to chance. The only way to assure that your wishes are followed is to execute a valid will. The hazards of not having a will can place the legacy intended for your loved ones in jeopardy.

The Opioid Trust: Estate Planning for Addicted Family Members

Given the millions of Americans addicted to opiates and other drugs, many parents and grandparents struggle with the question of estate planning for addicted family members. But in a realm where families have very little control over a loved one's actions, estate planning provides one area of control.

The Benefits of Charitable Giving in WV Estate Plans

Charitable giving in the West Virginia (WV) estate planning process often benefits both the donor and the recipient charity. Not only does it feel good to leave a generous legacy and help others, it may also be a savvy financial decision. If you're interested in learning about options for charitable giving in WV estate plans, read on.

Utilize No-Contest Clauses to Avoid Conflict

You may worry that someone unhappy with a bequest may challenge your will and delay the probate of your will. But using no-contest clauses to avoid conflict after your death can provide your family with the gift of peace of mind. A no-contest clause in essence disinherits any heir who challenges the will. In this way, a no-contest clause can save your estate from incurring unnecessary costs and delays in distribution.

How to Fit an IRA in Your WV Estate Plan

The average life expectancy of West Virginians is 75.4 years of age. If you started working at the age of 16 and you retire at age 66, you will have worked for over two-thirds of your entire life and over 87 percent of your adult life. That is a lot of time dedicated to building your retirement savings and planning for retirement . . . and very little time left to enjoy retirement. Presumably, 50 working years or more could provide one or more nice-sized IRAs to fund your retirement as well as something to leave a beneficiary upon your death. But do you know how to fit an IRA in your WV estate plan?

Estate Planning Asset Protection Strategies in WV

You have worked hard most of your life to build your legacy. Your legacy includes your property and finances that you will have the honor to pass on to your future generations. It is a legacy which will help provide a better life for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on. You want to protect this legacy from creditors looking to get a piece of your pie after you die. There are a few estate planning asset protection strategies in WV to examine with your estate planning attorney to ensure that your legacy is protected.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Transfer on Death Deeds?

It is important to consider the pros and cons of transfer on death deeds while estate planning in West Virginia. Transfer on death ("TOD") deeds became legal in West Virginia in 2014 with the passage of the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act. There are advantages and disadvantages to using this estate planning tool.

Validity of a Will after Divorce: How a Divorce Affects Your Will in WV

Divorce can involve complex legal issues, but at a minimum it involves the identification and protection of each party's rights and property following the termination of the marriage. But what happens when a spouse executes a will during the marriage and the parties later divorce? Former spouses may wonder about the validity of a will after divorce under West Virginia law. Where do they turn for answers?

Identifying and Reporting Elder Abuse in WV

When our elderly loved ones become unable to care for themselves, we often rely on caretakers, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes to help. We put our trust in people to provide care to our vulnerable family members. Unfortunately, elder abuse in WV often goes unreported because signs are missed or people are not sure whether something "counts" as abuse or neglect.

May a Child Inherit from a Parent in WV after Parental Rights Are Terminated?

In West Virginia (WV) as in many states, ownership of a decedent's property often passes according to the terms in the decedent's will. When the decedent did not leave a valid will, his or her property passes according to the law of intestate succession. In such cases, the property passes to the decedent's child if there is no surviving spouse. But what happens if the decedent's parental rights had been terminated? Can a child inherit from a parent in WV after the termination of parental rights? The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals recently answered that question in the negative.
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