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Wills, Trusts, and Estates Archives

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 My West Virginia Irrevocable Trust?

A trust is a common tool used to manage or pass on a person's assets. In West Virginia, as elsewhere, 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-particularly a West Virginia irrevocable 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.
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