What is a Will?

A Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is a legal document a person signs directing what is to be done with property after death. Although it may be depressing to think about, a little planning can really help your family and friends later on. Virginia law requires a Will to be drafted and executed in a very specific way.

Why should I have a Will and what happens if I don’t make one?

Without a Will, state law determines how your property is distributed—who gets what. A Will allows you to make different choices from the state law, and to specify how you want your property divided after your death (for example, bank accounts, cars, jewelry, or furniture). You also may name the person you trust to handle your affairs after your death. …

Who should draft a Will?

A Will should be drafted by someone who is familiar with Virginia law. There are specific legal requirements for a simple Will in your own handwriting. States have different laws about Wills, so “Will kits” you might purchase online or in book stores may create problems for your survivors. As important, your particular situation is different from everyone else. This …

Can I tell someone what to do in case I’m severely injured and cannot speak for myself?

Yes. Under Virginia law you can execute a written Advance Medical Directive to instruct your family, physicians, and care providers about your care, including the use or termination of life-sustaining measures in certain situations. The same document can appoint a trusted family member, friend, or professional to serve as your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf when you …