Wills & Trusts
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.
Flat rates for basic estate planning are available.
Costs for revocable and irrevocable trusts will be discussed during the planning meeting, and will depend on both the size of the estate and the complexity of the work requested.
Probate is the process of transferring a person's property upon his or her death. There are many ways to probate an estate, all made simpler by the existence of a will.
We provides assistance with probate. If you answer yes to the following:
- The decedent (person who died) 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:
- The decedent (person who died) died without a will;
- Owned less than $75,000 (excluding home);
- Has 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 your situation.
If the answer to either of the situations was no, then we will discuss traditional probate processes like obtaining letters testamentary or letters of administration in independent or dependent probate administration.