Jump-Starting Your Estate Plan in Virginia

ResolutionsLike so many things in life, taking care of your estate planning now is the right step, even if you don't have any dependents. It's a weight off your shoulders, and it leaves plans in place if the unthinkable were to happen to you.

It is official – 2014 is here! So, is getting your estate plan on your list of resolutions? If so, how do you get started and how do you insure that you implement those plans before 2015 rolls around?

Understandably, musing over matters of your own disability and death are not at the top of anyone’s list of “fun things to do,” they are a matter of personal, adult responsibility. In addition, plans can get rather complex when it comes to complex lives, complex families, and complex assets. As with most complex but essential matters in life, it is best to start with the basics.

Fortunately, U.S. News & World Report has helped you jump-start your estate planning basics with a recent article titled “4 Steps for Simple Estate Planning.” What are the four?

  1. Prepare a master information document. Think of this as a single collection of all the information your heirs will need from the location of important documents, to bank accounts, passwords, and lists of assets. Such information allows your heirs to step in when the time comes and to quickly assume command of what needs to be done, to the benefit of all of your loved ones.
  2. Purchase a term life insurance policy. Calculate the financial costs your loved ones might bear in your absence. Oftentimes, as good solution is life insurance which provides instant liquidity just when needed most.
  3. Write a will [or trust?] to ensure the right persons receive your possessions. Not only do you need to draft a will, but you need to keep it current. If you have a will with a few years on it, then it is time to dust it off and bring it up-to-code.
  4. Include guardianship plans in your will for your dependents. Assets aside, the most important “assets” for the parents of minor children are those children. Who would rear them to adulthood in your absence?

Take a look at the original article. You will enjoy the stories and bits of advice it offers as you consider your own plan. Although these four steps are important, they are by no means exhaustive. What issues arise when you ponder your own estate plan and how can they be resolved? Procrastination is simply not an option. Once you understand and appreciate what is at stake, bring in competent counsel to assist you and your family.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: U.S. News & World Report (December 17, 2013) “4 Steps for Simple Estate Planning


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.