Communicate your wishes to leave a lasting impact

A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan—one of the most important documents of your life. An individual estate is never too small for a will, and preparation need not be expensive.

What happens if you do not have a will?

You lose all control over assets and distribution when no will has been executed. The Commonwealth of Virginia steps in, and the Laws of Succession direct estate distribution. A person unknown to you will settle your estate.

Who can make a will?

A person who is at least 18 years old and cognizant can create a will, as long as the relevant assets and how they will pass to beneficiaries is clearly understood. The person’s decisions must be free of any improper influence, duress or coercion. Personal representatives include:

  • Executor

  • Trustee

  • Guardian for minor children and special needs adults Powers of attorney (durable, healthcare, advanced medical directive)

How often do you need to update your will?

Updates are necessary following a change in marital status, beneficiaries, state residence or financial status. Tax laws and circumstances change, too, so updates also are recommended if the will was created more than five years ago.

Can you include your church in your will?

A bequest through a will is the most utilized method of supporting your church and charity of choice. Your options are to:

  • Leave a portion of your estate to your church’s endowed fund for investment that provides financial support in perpetuity.

  • Continue tithing to your church after passing through a donor-advised fund (DAF) that keeps on giving.

  • Bless your church and others through legacy (planned) giving.


  • Designation of asset distribution

  • Appointment and outline of powers for executor and/or trustee

  • Expedited legal process

  • Church and/or charity of choice distribution

  • Communication of funeral wishes

  • Stress reduction for family and beneficiaries

Want to learn more about executing a will? Our team is here to help every step of the way.

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