You may not need a complicated estate plan in Virginia. In fact, many people do not. However, you should at least have a will. A will allows you to make plans for when you die and also can help you to plan for a situation where you can no longer make decisions on your own. In any case, everyone should have a will.

There are a few key pieces of information you should include in a will. You want to ensure that you have all the pertinent things in it to ensure its legality and the communication of your wishes.

Identifying information

You will want to include your name and information to identify you. You also want identifying information about your heirs or anyone else you include in the document. This includes organizations if you have stipulations to leave money to charity after your death. It also includes the person who you choose to be in charge of overseeing the execution of your will.

Assets

You want to include information about all your assets. Describe each asset completely and explain what you want to happen with the asset. Remember for estate planning purposes, pets are assets, so make sure if you have a pet to include instructions about its care.

Children

If you have minor children, the assumption is that they will go into the care of their other parent, but if the other parent is not alive or otherwise unable to care for the children, then you need to include arrangements for their care in your will. You should name the person who will become the guardian.

You may also want to include a power of attorney that gives someone else decision making power for you if you cannot make your own decisions. That is really all you have to have in your will.