In the old days, handwritten wills rose like zombies from the dead to wreak havoc upon loved ones left behind.  They still do, but today many “do-it-yourselfers” use someone else’s will or a form that they download online. They do this in an effort to save money or avoid what they see as the hassle…

Patricia M. Wood has been selected as a 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Star. No more than 2.5% of lawyers in a state are named to Rising Stars, who are 40 years old or younger. Patricia focuses her practice on helping clients with personal disputes, estate planning and family law matters, as well as the representation of businesses…

What did Janay Palmer do to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after he punched her, knocking her out? She married him. That is rare. Usually divorce — not marriage — follows domestic violence. Rice’s recent notoriety and numerous other episodes surrounding athletes and celebrities highlight the breadth of family abuse. Virginia defines family abuse…

Effective July 1, 2011, the state’s general district courts will gain the ability to handle claims up to $25,000 – an increase from the current $15,000 ceiling.

Some years ago, the television series “Ed”, began with the titular character losing his job at a Wall Street law firm.  The firm fired Ed after it suffered a multi-million dollar malpractice liability, supposedly caused by his misplacing a comma in a large contract he had drafted. But such things only happen on television, right? …

When the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) passed into law 18 years ago, its vague terminology led many to speculate about how expansively it would be read by the federal courts that would be called upon to implement it.  But much to the relief of employers, the federal courts have been willing to read the…

Millions of Americans are members of the various social networking websites, and the popularity and prevalence of this phenomenon shows no signs of slowing. Services like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter allow individuals and businesses to communicate with the world instantaneously by simply posting a status change or uploading a picture. But while users flock…

Part 2: What to Look for in an Executor A good executor will combine “people skills”, trustworthiness, and financial acumen.  Thus, you should consider your selection carefully before simply nominating your spouse, your child, or a close relative.  Think of the appointment as employment — not a way to reward (or punish) a friend or…

Part 1: What Executors Do The purpose of your will is to assure that your property is conveyed after your death the way you wish, and to see that your loved ones are protected.  One of the most important decisions to make in preparing your will is the choice of your executor, the person who…

Most of us have seen one, even signed one.  The Little League asked for one before your child could play; the high school football coach sent one home with your son; your recreational softball league wants every member of every team to sign one. Yet waivers of injury claims signed prior to the occurrence of…