ESTATE PLANNING AND PROBATE
Everyone aged 18 and older should have a Will. Without a Will, the government assumes control of your wealth and decides how to distribute it. This could mean that your wishes concerning your wealth and personal possessions are disregarded by the court system and your loved ones may suffer as a result. Having a Last Will and Testament is the only way to properly ensure that your final wishes are respected.
There are many types of trusts you may set up to accomplish wealth preservation and tax avoidance. Some are controlled by you while you are alive, others are established by your will and, in essence, controlled by you after you die. Creating a trust can be useful in a variety of situations, some of which may surprise you. For instance, trusts can be created to assist families caring for an ailing and elderly loved one. They can also be used to protect your house in certain situations.
There is more to estate planning than just Wills and Trusts. Below are more of the important estate planning tools that we can help you with to ensure that your loved ones and your assets are secure. When is the last time you updated your estate plan?
There are several accounts and plans available which allow you to save for your children's education at both the primary and secondary level, and also avoid taxes.
Power of Attorney:
These may be tailored to your specific needs; and, most importantly, give you the power NOW to decide who will make important decisions affecting your health and finances should you become incapacitated in the future.
Health Care Directive:
You determine how doctors will treat you, and you select a trusted friend or family member to enforce your wishes about your medical care. If you do not have this document, and you become incapacitated, your wishes regarding end of life care may not be followed.
The Probate Court handles numerous issues. One of the most ccommon is the probate of a Will. This process is detailed and it is advisable to have an attorney guide you through the process. In some cases, you must be represented by an attorney. These include guardianship and termination of parental rights.