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Wills & Powers of Attorney

You hire a lawyer for advice, not a document.

All adults need a will, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and a directive to physicians. Parents also need to name a guardian and trustee for their children until the children are over 18.

Estate planning is more than a fill-in-the-blank form. Our years of study and experience help us identify ways to accomplish your goals that you won't find on the Internet or any do-it-yourself estate planning kit.

Will: Written declaration of your wishes; who gets your property and who is in charge

Durable power of attorney: Financial power of attorney giving someone else the power to make your financial decisions on your behalf.

Medical power of attorney/HIPAA authorization: Designates your choice for who will make your medical decisions should you be unable to make them yourself. Grants access to your medical records for up to 2 years beyond your death.

Directive to physicians: Instructs your doctors and your family on whether you wish to use life-sustaining treatment  (life support).

Declaration of guardian: Names your choice should you need a guardian, which is a court appointed role. A guardian usually replaces the power of attorney but could be the same person.

Declaration of guardian for minor child: Names your choice of who will be appointed as guardian should both parents die.

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Probate

Probate is the process of transferring a person's property upon her death. There are many ways to probate an estate, all made simpler by the existence of a will. 

Drake Law provide assistance with two types of probate. If you answer yes to the following:

  1. Died with a will
  2. Had no debt at death except perhaps a mortgage
  3. Did not use Medicaid (different from Medicare)
  4. Has clearly identified gifts and beneficiaries 

Then a muniment of title might be right for you.

If you answer yes to the following:

  1. Died without a will
  2. Owned less than $75,000 (excluding home)
  3. Less debt than property
  4. Cooperative family
  5. Home will pass to a spouse

Then a small estate affidavit might be right for you.