If you’re a Virginia resident and thinking about drafting a will, you have to meet a couple of requirements. Per Virginia Code Section 64.2-401, you need to be 18 years old (or an emancipated minor) and of sound mind to create a will.
But before doing so, it’s essential to learn about the various types of wills. Since there are many of them, this post focuses on five common wills.
1. Joint Wills
Two people — usually a married couple — create joint wills. The purpose of joint wills is for you to make your spouse an heir upon your passing (and vice-versa). The surviving spouse then makes their adult child(ren) heirs after the death of both parents.
2. Living Wills
Sometimes called advanced care directives, living wills allow you to dictate end-of-life wishes should you become incapacitated. For example, you can outline any medical treatments you want (or don’t want) and funeral arrangements.
3. Simple Wills
These are the most basic wills. Simple wills let you lay out instructions on who gets certain monetary gifts or properties. They’re also for establishing guardianship for minor children should both parents pass away.
4. Oral Wills
Oral wills, sometimes called nuncupative wills, are spoken wishes. Though they’re not valid in some states, Virginia accepts oral wills only from active-duty soldiers and mariners who are at sea, and these are obviously not the ideal option for anybody.
5. Pour-Over Wills
Pour-Over wills are connected with living trusts. Once you pass on, any properties not covered in your will are poured into your trust before your listed beneficiaries receive them. This is an ideal option if you want to maintain your privacy.
The best will for you depends on your personal situation. If you’re still undecided about which one to choose, seek experienced legal guidance to aid you in exploring your estate planning options.