Wills - Advanced Medical Directive - Trust Packages - Power of Attorney

Estate Planning Services in Abingdon, VA

Estate planning involves determining the ways in which an individual’s assets will be protected, managed, and distributed following his or her death. It also covers the administration of an individual’s property and financial obligations in the event of incapacitation.

As an Abingdon estate attorney, my main goal is to ensure that your goals and intentions are carried out. My second goal is to ensure that your assets are always protected so that they pass to your intended beneficiaries.

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Call me at (276) 477-1422 or fill out the form below and I will call you back as soon as possible.

Whitney Pennington

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I grew up in Southwest Virginia. I decided to become an attorney to help serve this area and its people. My passion has always been family law. I enjoy helping clients through difficult times and guiding them through their trials with individualized attention.

During my time in law school, I focused on family law and estate planning. In early 2013, I passed the Virginia Bar. Since that time, I have been in private practice as well as worked in other legal capacities.

Customer Reviews

Natasha H.
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"Whitney was absolutely INCREDIBLE!! She listens to her clients and she fights with everything she has for them. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND her. She was truly a blessing in my case. I will be using her for any of my other legal needs. If your looking for somebody who will go in with guns blazing Whitney is definitely the lawyer you need!!"
Payton A.
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"Whitney is very professional and very informative. She has helped us tremendously and guided us through the law process that we have to go through for our case. She is experienced and works hard for her clients. It’s always nice to have someone that is willing to help you and your family in anyway she can."
Sammy L.
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"Mrs. Pennington was attentive to my needs and her work was exemplary. I will definitely use her again when I have any legal needs. Thank you so much for listening to me and being understanding as well as a great advocate."
Bobby and Vicki F.
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"If you are in this area and need an attorney I would highly recommend Whitney Pennington. She did some estate for us and she was a real trooper and got it done for us. We really appreciated all she did for us and I’m sure she will take good care of you."
Amelia L.
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"Pennington Law Firm helped our family with legal paperwork for our small business. Whitney was very thorough and took the time to make sure we had everything completed as a new business in VA. Definitely would recommend her for all legality needs!"
Ashley T.
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"Whitney is knowledgeable, understanding, experienced, and helpful. She is always quick to respond and was helpful through everything. She’s aggressive and firm in cases when needed. I highly recommend her!"
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Wills

Every person should establish a will in order to ensure that their property passes to the beneficiaries they choose. Whether your estate is large or small, taking this burden off of the family is important and will help relieve stress for your loved ones while they are grieving.
Wills can also set up testamentary trusts to provide for your children should they be under the age of 18 and can also provide for guardianship of children under the age of 18.

Even if you do not have children, it is important to have a will. If you die without a will the Commonwealth of Virginia decides how your estate is divided. Ms. Pennington is a competent will and trust attorney and she has drafted wills since her admission into the Virginia Bar in 2013.
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Power Of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is important for everyone to have. Although some may think that this document only exists for the elderly, it also exists for the young as well. Mental incompetency can come at any age. If you were in a car accident and suffered severe brain damage, for example, you would be unable to execute legal documents necessary for your financial well-being.

A power of attorney provides one person with the power to execute documents on your behalf if you for any reason become mentally incompetent to do so. Ms. Pennington provides an extensive power of attorney and can easily craft it to be broad or narrow in scope.

Advanced Medical Directive

Under a Virginia law called the Health Care Decisions Act, an adult can sign an advanced medical directive (AMD) that makes his or her choices about medical treatment known to their doctor and family in advance. In the AMD, you can also name someone you trust to make these decisions for you if you become unable to express your wishes yourself.

Preparing this document ahead of time alleviates the stress of your loved ones making a decision on your behalf and perhaps feeling guilty. This way you are permitting and telling the family what you want to be done with regard to life-prolonging measures should you be unable to do so.
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Trust Packages

Trust packages include all necessary documents to convey your property at the time of your death to a pour-over will which flows directly to your established family trust. A family trust may be advisable for several reasons. First, if you have a large estate, your estate could be federally taxed and your family would lose those funds.

However, if your money flows to the trust, it can be disposed of without probate and without unnecessary taxation. Trusts also allow for the privacy of assets as the trust is not probated and does not become part of a public record. Trusts also allow you to place parameters on how and when a person can receive income under the trust.

I am a trust attorney who is able to create documents in accordance with a variety of complex laws that carry out the wishes of my clients and I understand how to best secure my clients’ investments.

Guardianship and Conservator Proceedings

An adult guardianship or conservatorship is created when a Virginia circuit court determines that a person is unable to manage his or her own personal or financial affairs and appoints a guardian and/or conservator for that person. The person for whom a guardian or conservator is appointed is called the incapacitated person. A guardian is the person appointed to handle the affairs of the incapacitated person. A conservator handles the financial affairs of the incapacitated person. The guardian and conservator can be the same person.
Any person can file a petition with a Virginia Circuit Court alleging that there is an incapacitated Virginia resident who needs to have a guardian or conservator appointed to manage some or all of his or her affairs. After the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled for the court to hear evidence as to why a guardianship and/or conservatorship is necessary and who should be appointed if it is necessary.
Lack of good judgment by the respondent is not enough for the court to find a person incapacitated. The court must determine that the respondent is incapable of receiving and evaluating information effectively or responding to people, events, or what is going on around him to such an extent that he lacks the capacity to do either or both of the following:

  • Meet the essential requirements for his health, care, and safety without the assistance or protection of a guardian, or
  • Manage property or financial affairs or provide for his or her support without the assistance or protection of a conservator.
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A durable general power of attorney is usually a good alternative to guardianship and/or conservatorship. However, the incapacitated person must have planned ahead and signed the power of attorney while he was able to understand what he was doing.

Reach Out and Get Help

I am an estate lawyer who will assist you in determining how to distribute your assets so you can achieve your estate distribution goals and reduce taxation, particularly estate taxes. My duty involves helping clients with the creation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other wealth distribution methods. Call me at (276) 477-1422 or fill out the form below and I will call you back.

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