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.
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:
- Died with a will
- Had no debt at death except perhaps a mortgage
- Did not use Medicaid (different from Medicare)
- Has clearly identified gifts and beneficiaries
Then a muniment of title might be right for you.
If you answer yes to the following:
- Died without a will
- Owned less than $75,000 (excluding home)
- Less debt than property
- Cooperative family
- Home (if any) will pass to a spouse or minor children
Then a small estate affidavit might be right for you.