Estate Planning Lawyers in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Harrisonburg, VA

Over 25,000 Virginians have trusted the estate planning attorneys at Cravens & Noll to care for their legal needs across 4 decades in business.

Writing a will and creating a plan for your estate is oftentimes put on the back burner. No one wants to think about death or what may happen to their family, assets, and property should they pass suddenly or unexpectedly. Because much of life is out of our control, it’s important to be as prepared as possible.

Planning for your future and those you care about doesn’t have to be complicated. Our trusted and local estate lawyers will ask all the right questions and walk you through the entire process quickly and efficiently. If an emergency situation happens, you can rest assured knowing that you and your loved ones will have a plan to avoid any unnecessary turmoil that may otherwise come up.

Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorneys
What you need to know.

Whether you’re an executor, trustee, administrator, personal representative, heir or family member in the state of Virginia, an understanding of the basics of estate planning is crucial. No matter what your wishes are, our attorneys will work to protect your assets and fulfill your wishes for your family, finances, and even your health care.

We can help you with:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Financial powers of attorney
  • Medical powers of attorney
  • Advanced medical directive
  • Guardianships/conservatorships
  • Estate Administration & Probate after death

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate Planning is the process of working with an advisor to discuss your goals and concerns, review your assets and how they are owned, consider your family structure and develop a plan that provides for the management and disposition of your assets upon your death or incapacity.

Is making a will the same thing as Estate Planning?

Making a will is only one small part of the estate planning process.  Some of your assets make not pass by the terms of your will.  You also should plan for incapacity.  The value is in estate planning is more than just the documents but in a discussion with an advisor about your goals, concerns, and family dynamics.

What are the parts of a basic Estate Plan?

The three parts of a basic estate plan are a will, durable financial power of attorney and an advance medical directive.

Do I need a Will?

Everyone should have a will.  Even if you have your property passing outside of probate through beneficiary designations, a will prevents forgotten or unknown assets from passing by intestate succession.

What is Probate?

Probate is the court-supervised process of administration of your estate. During probate, your personal representative will pay the debts of your estate, file and/or pay your income taxes and determine the new rightful owner of your probate property either by the terms of your will or trust or in accordance with the intestate succession statute.

What is Interstate Succession?

Intestate succession is when you die without a will.  If you do not have a will, Virginia law will determine the beneficiary of your property.

Does all of my property transfer by the terms of my Will?

No, some of your assets, life insurance, for example, may go directly to a named beneficiary.

I'm divorced & my minor children are my Beneficiaries. Can I leave my property to them?

You should exercise care when naming minor children as direct beneficiaries.  If you want to leave property to a minor, speak with an attorney about a contingent child trust or a transfer to a minor under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act.

What is a durable Financial Power of Attorney?

In a durable financial power of attorney, you appoint another person, called your agent, and grant them the power to enter into certain financial transactions on your behalf.

Can I name more than one Agent?

Yes, more than one person can serve as your agent under a power of attorney.  You may appoint more than one agent and require them to act jointly when executing a transaction of your behalf.

How long does a durable Power of Attorney last?

A durable power of attorney will last until your death or until you revoke the power of attorney.

What does an Advance Medical Directive do?

An advance directive names an agent who can legally make healthcare decisions and advocate on your behalf.  The advance directive also addresses end of life decisions and allows you to state whether you want certain life-sustaining treatment(s) when certain conditions are present.

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