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Wills, Trusts, and Estates Archives

Charitable Estate Planning: Benefits for Both Donor and Recipient

Whatever your age, income, or family status, you have probably heard of and considered estate planning. An estate plan ensures that the money you work so hard to earn protects and benefits your loved ones. However, another planning option you may not have considered is charitable estate planning. Charitable estate planning is a rewarding way to benefit a worthwhile charity or organization, while reaping tax benefits for you and your family both now and later.

Technical Errors in WV Wills: Protect Your Estate from Potential Mistakes

A will is an important legal document that communicates your wishes about the distribution of your property after your death. In West Virginia as in most states, a will must comply with the standards set out by statute in order to be valid and enforceable. Unintentional, technical errors in WV wills can cast doubt on your intentions or even invalidate your will altogether. For that reason, it's essential to ensure that your will and other estate planning documents are well prepared and free of mistakes.

What Is the Time Frame for Challenging a WV Will?

Originally, the statute of limitations for filing a will contest in West Virginia was five years. Over the last century, the West Virginia Legislature has gradually reduced that period, and the time frame for challenging a WV will is now only six months.

WV Undue Influence in Will and Trust Challenges

Whether you're managing an estate plan for yourself or are involved in a dispute regarding the intentions of a deceased loved one, your legal decisions should be informed by an understanding of WV undue influence law.

WV Estate Planning and Same-Sex Couples: Is Your Inheritance Plan in Place?

Same-sex marriage was banned in West Virginia until October 9, 2014. Before then, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples did not have the right to marry or the same legal privileges under the law as married opposite-sex couples had. When it came to WV estate planning and same-sex couples, the lack of legal rights made the management of assets in the event of one partner's incapacitation and death very difficult.

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?
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