LEGAL RESOURCES AND IDENTITY THEFT Benefit For those of you who wisely signed up for Legal Resources before retirement, congratulations! You can put that right up there towards the top of your list for having done something smart! For those of you who passed it over with an air of nonchalance…ouch!
Following a recent presentation at one of the monthly VBREA meetings where the subject was estate planning, a VBREA member…who did sign-up for Legal Resources before retirement…was inspired to utilize their services. That stimulus, as well as facing twilight years (which have begun to erode a belief of immortality) helped to better realize the importance of having participated in this city offered benefit.
In signing up with Mr. David C. Johnson, Attorney at Law, with the Virginia Beach Law Group from a participating list of Hampton Roads Network Law Firms, legal documents were prepared for our estate plan. Mr. Johnson and staff superbly worked with us to ensure we developed a solid estate plan for our unique needs as they apply to the State of Virginia laws.
Through their guidance, many issues were resolved beyond any thoughts of which we were aware. Two instances follow. Hopefully the information will be a catalyst and inspire someone to take action to develop their own plan:
We learned upon both of our demises…had our Executor gone to our banking institute with a Power-of-Attorney and two death certificates in-hand, those legal documents would be over-ridden by the way we recorded our beneficiaries directly with the banking institute. Discovering when we set up our financial accounts we had NOT indicated our beneficiaries, we immediately went down and submitted our preferences…now those financial accounts will not go into probate and will be distributed as we desire...NOT how some third party determines they should be distributed.
Having a paid mortgage, our deed was re-recorded as annotated in our will so that upon our demise our home will be given to our designates thus preventing actions of probate. If you haven’t prepared your estate planning you are encouraged to do so…now. Why is acting on establishing one’s estate plan so important, no matter the level of your monetary or possessions values? One could avoid potential devastating consequences! Five of many reasons are:
1. Estate planning prevents your assets from ending up with unintended beneficiaries.
2. Estate planning protects families with young children and those who might be dependent on state or government funded assistance.
3. Estate planning can eliminate warring between family members.
4. Estate planning can prevent heirs from overpaying court costs or taxes. 5. Your executor can be saved a significant amount of time, worry and cost executing your estate.
As retirees, we now serve as models to those younger adults who have yet to reach our level of experiences, or years of service with the city. As a retiree, it would serve well those folks we still stay in contact with…encourage them to participate in the Legal Resources program benefit and to continue participating once they retire. For a nominal fee, they can get 100% coverage for attorney fees for various covered legal services.
How does this work? All full-time Virginia Beach city employees may participate in the prepaid legal services plan offered through payroll deduction. Legal Resources can provide confidential legal counseling, advice and discounted courtroom representation for employees and their immediate family. For additional fees, Legal Resources also offers two identity theft protection programs. The employees should watch for the city’s open enrollment. Questions? Tell your active full-time employee friends to contact the Department of Human Resources.
Mr. Johnson correctly describes our having completed these actions is a “gift” to our family. We can also add it is a HUGE peace of mind for us and our family. We wish the same for you!