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When is it time to contact a civilian lawyer for your estate planning needs?

21 March 2014 by

When Should You Contact A Civilian Lawyer Instead Of Using A JAG? 

It is often a topic that many don't like to discuss or think about, writing your Will.  However, it is probably one of the most imporatant legal documents that you will need to take care of.  There are many reasons that writing your personal will is so important and here is why!

1) You need to decide WHO will you want your personal belongings to go to when you die.  If you do not specify in a will who you want to get your belongings when you die than the state will have to do it for you and this can be a very lengthy process.  The state will usually give your belongings to your spouse, children, or parents (closest relatives).  Further, your belongings can go to someone who you would not have chose if you wrote your own will of your personal wishes.

2) You need to name an executor.  An executor is someone who will be in charge of taking care of your estate and wrapping up everything on your behalf.  If you do not name an executor thorugh your will, the courts will appoint someone to do this on your behalf.

3) If you have children, this is one of the most important reasons to write a will.  You need to name a Guardian for your children and a will is the only place that you can do this!  If you do not have a will than the courts will decide who will get to raise your children in the event that you die.  If you have children, you should have a will for this purpose alone! 

4) Name a property manager to take care of your children's property.  If you die and your children are left with your property there must be a property manager (adult) to take care of the property on behalf of the children.

5) Provide a caretaker for your pets. If there is someone specific you would like to take care of your pet, a will is a good place to name that person.  You can even leave financial help if you like.

These are just some of the reasons why a WILL is so important.  One benefit of being in the military is the availability of Free Legal Assistance.  You can turn to a JAG ot help with many legal questions to include writing a will.  What is a JAG?  Judge advocates (JAG) is a Military Lawyer.  JAGs can offer help in legal and non-legal matters ranging from purchasing a car to renting an apartment, buying a home, paying taxes or writing a will.  A JAG is an attorney who has graduated from an accredited law school, and is licensed to practice law by the highest court of a state or by a federal court. Judge advocates assigned to assist individuals with personal legal problems are known as legal assistance attorneys.  Legal assistance offices are located on almost every base, ship and installation.  Each military service has specific regulations regarding the extent of legal assistance they provide. For further information, contact your legal assistance office.

When is it time to seek the assistance of a civilian Lawyer that specializes in Estate Planning and Wills rather than use a JAG?  There are situations when it might make more sense for a military member to seek the assistance of a civilian lawyer to help with Estate Planning or setting up a Will.  These situations can be assessed by the JAG for recommendation.  Or, you can use these following guidelines:

 1) If you are a retired military member or Veteran, Free Legal Service from the military may not be available to you.  Depending upon the base, using a JAG may be restricted or limited due to the work load of the JAG.  In this situation, you may need to seek a civilian lawyer to help you get your Will or Estate Plan set up.

2) If you or your spouse own your own business, this is a more complicated Will and you may want to seek out a civilian lawyer. 

3) If you have a lot of assets, this is also a more complex situation and you may want to use a civilian lawyer to set up an Estate Plan.

These are just a couple of reasons why crafting a well-drafted estate plan is important through a civilian lawyer specializing in Estate Planning and Wills.  

If you are in need of an excellent Lawyer who handles Estate Planning in the Hampton Roads and Tysons Corner area contact Wilson Law PLC.  Donna Wilson is an excellent attorney who takes pride in helping out the military community.   Below is some information regarding Wilson Law and their mission.

At Wilson Law PLC our practice is devoted entirely to serving clients throughout Hampton Roads and the Northern Virginia area in Estate Planning, Business Planning, Asset Protection and Elder Law Planning.

Clients need estate planning services in order to put their affairs in order. However, not all estate planning practices are the same. Our practice focuses on delivering highly customized estate plans. Through counseling, we save taxes, reduce costs, protect families and provide highly personalized services. Our client’s expectations are regularly exceeded.

The foundation of our practice is delivering outstanding service that our clients expect and deserve. Our techniques include everything from simple wills and living trusts to sophisticated tax and business succession strategies. We are a results-oriented firm, committed to being recognized as leaders by our clients, other legal professionals and the community in which we live and work.  We invite you to contact us today to begin planning for your future

Services Offered: 

Wilson Law PLC is proud to offer Military Members active to retired a 25% Military Discount plus a Free Consultation!  If you are interested in learning whether or not you are in need of a more customized Will or Estate Plan give Donna a call. 

The take away, don't delay on getting your Will set-up.  It is the only document that will let everyone know what you want done with your personal belongings and your personal wishes in the case of your death.  Whether you are able to write up a simple Will through the JAG or have a more complex Will where you need to contact a civilian attorney don't delay!  It will put you and your family's mind at ease to know that your wishes are known and your estate is in order.

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