We can assist you in all of our estate planning needs. A properly planned estate will make the future easier for you and for your family members. You must be over the age of eighteen (18) years and have the mental capacity to understand and sign legal documents in order to sign any estate planning documents.
Last Will and Testaments
A Last Will And Testament is a legal document that directs the disposition of your assets upon your death. This document also appoints an Executor. An Executor is the person that you choose to collect your assets, pay your debts, and to distribute your assets pursuant to the terms of your Will.
Your Will may also name a Guardian. A Guardian is the person of your choosing who would provide care for your minor children (or for any pets) upon your death.
Your Will may also name a Trustee. A Trustee is a person of your choice that would manage and distribute any monies that you have set aside in a trust. A trust can be created for your children, your grandchildren, and/or for your pets.
To ensure that your assets are distributed pursuant to your wishes, it is important to have a property drafted Last Will and Testament. To be valid, a Will must be witnessed by two unbiased witnesses (generally an attorney and a paralegal). A Will should be updated each time you experience a significant life event (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, substantial change in your assets).
If you are interesting in making a new Will or in updating an existing Will, please contact us for our Estate Planning Questionnaire. After you complete the Questionnaire, we will then meet with you to discusses and decide the best course of action for you.
Health Care Proxy
A Health Care Proxy is a written document giving a person or persons other than yourself the legal right to make health care decisions for you, only in the event that you are unable to make your own health care decisions.
A Health Care Proxy may also contain language requiring that life support be withheld in the final stages of your life. Putting your wishes into writing makes it easier for your family members to make end of life decisions on your behalf and helps you maintain your dignity.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document that gives another person or persons the authority to make legal and financial decision on your behalf during your lifetime. The Power of Attorney is effective the moment it is fully signed and expires upon your death. Generally a Power of Attorney would be used to carry on your legal and financial affairs once you become unable to do so yourself, either due to mental or physical incapacitation. Signing a Power of Attorney is a quicker and cheaper alternative than having a legal guardian appointed by the court system.
Life Estate Deed
A Life Estate Deed is a special type of estate planning deed that protects, in certain circumstances, your primary residence from the Medicaid look-back period. This Deed allows you to own your home and maintain all property tax exemptions that you qualify during your lifetime. Upon your death, the ownership of the home will automatically vest in the person or persons designated in this Deed without requiring the permission of the Probate Court.
When a loved one passes away, it may be necessary to probate his/her Last Will and Testament through the Court. In the case that no valid Will exists, the estate will need to be administered through the Court.
We have the necessary experience and compassion to assist you through this confusing and emotional time. Our services include petitioning the Court to prove and admit the Will or to administer the estate; including giving the required notices to family members and others named in the Will. We will guide the executor/administrator through the process of collecting the assets, paying the bills, setting up any trusts created in the Will, and with filing the accounting of assets with the Court. We also assist you with distributing the assets to the estate beneficiaries.We work with many local accountants on estate tax preparation.