Estate Planning Probate

Estate Planning/Probate encompasses the following areas:

Will

A will may be necessary to carry out one’s wishes for financial distribution at death or to provide for whom might care for one’s children in the event of an unexpected death.  A will is but one tool to carry out overall estate planning goals for one’s future, and consultation is necessary to understand given each person’s situation, what might best suit a particular family.

Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is giving another the right to take care of financial and legal matters in the event of incapacity.  Power of Attorney is a legal document that is often executed at the same time other estate planning is completed, such as a will or health care directive.

Health Care Directive (Living Will)

A health care directive (formerly “living will”) is a legal document that indicates who will make important health care decisions for an individual when they become incapacitated, and also makes other provisions for more specific medical situations, including terminal illness conditions.  A health care directive is often executed at the same time other estate planning is completed, such as a will or power of attorney.

Trusts

Trusts can vary from a simple testamentary trust within a will providing for a legal guardian for one’s children to more comprehensive trusts such as a revocable trust that will distribute income to the grantor and have property transfer at death to the beneficiaries.  Trusts, like wills, are one possible tool to carry out one’ s overall goals for estate planning.

Probate

When an individual that has a will becomes deceased, the estate needs to be probated and distributed to the heirs.  The type of probate that is necessitated will dictate the overall length of the proceedings, including if a matter is contested.  If an individual dies without a will, it may be necessary to petition the court to appoint an administrator to handle the estate.  If you find yourself in the position of being a personal representative of a loved one, or heir to someone who left no will, a consultation is recommended to discuss the legal proce