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Estate Planning and Probate

One of the most important things a person can do is to put a plan in place to take care of his loved ones once he is gone. Every person has unique goals and unique circumstances that require a unique plan. It is not one size fits all. The laws of intestacy (dying without a will) are completely inadequate to deal with your unique financial and family circumstances. Do not allow the state to make your estate plan for you. Take charge! I can assist you in developing a plan and carrying it out. Below are a few examples of estate planning devices:

WILL: A will allows you to distribute your property to your heirs in whatever way you see fit. It also allows you to make directives as to your funeral and burial arrangements. And of most importance, it allows you to name people whom you trust to take care of your children in the event that both parents pass away. 

REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST: A revocable living trust allows you to place your assets in trust during your lifetime to allow for seamless distribution to your beneficiaries when you die. A key feature is it allows you to avoid probate, which often can be time consuming, expensive and burdensome for your loved ones. With a revocable living trust you can accomplish these things while still remaining in complete control of your property during your lifetime.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY: A Durable Power of Attorney is a powerful tool that allows you to name a trusted individual as agent to handle your affairs the same as you could yourself. This nomination survives any subsequent disability or incapacitation, so that if you end up in a position where you cannot act on your own behalf, your agent can act for you without having to go through probate court.

PATIENT ADVOCATE DESIGNATION:  A Patient Advocate Designation allows you to state your wishes in regards to medical treatment, including life support. Your patient advocate is the person you name to carry out those directives and communicate them to medical professionals if you cannot do so yourself. If you would rather have your family call the shots than hospital staff, a Patient Advocate Designation is essential.