Estate Planning Services
By planning today, you can protect your family, your friends, and yourself in the event of your death or a family emergency. We generally recommend that our clients have at least five basic documents in place.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Matters
- Health Care Directive
- Instructions for Final Disposition
For families with a minor child, we also recommend a Durable Power of Attorney for Medical Decisions and Nomination of Guardian.
Will. Appoints a personal representative to handle your estate when you die and directs who should receive your property. You can also
- nominate a guardian for your minor child
- protect your assets from estate taxes
- control the manner in which your children receive sizeable assets
- provide for a family member with special needs
- benefit a favorite charity
- arrange care for a beloved pet.
Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters. Appoints an agent to handle your financial affairs when you are unable to do so.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Matters. Appoints a person to make medical and other health care decisions for you when you cannot make them for yourself.
Health Care Directive. Gives instructions to health care providers and your health care agent about care you do — or do not — want in certain medical situations.
Instructions for Final Disposition. Sets out your instructions for disposition of your body after death and for any funeral or memorial service.
Durable Power of Attorney for Medical Decisions and Nomination of Guardian. Appoints an agent to make decisions about your children’s medical treatment and nominates a person to serve as a guardian for your children if you are not available, whether due to incapacity, illness, or travel.
Other common estate planning documents include:
- Community Property Agreements
- Property Status Agreements
- Revocable Trusts
- Trusts established for tax planning purposes
Probate and Estate Administration Services
“Probate” is the process of proving and carrying out the wishes expressed in a decedent’s last will and testament. “Estate administration” is the winding up of the estate of a person who died without a will (“intestate”). In either case, the help of a knowledgeable attorney can make the process smoother and easier for surviving family and loved ones.
Elder Law Services
Senior citizens have particular needs related to estate planning, long-term care planning, guardianship, and elder abuse matters, among others. We advise seniors and their families who are searching for long-term care solutions, assisting with Medicaid planning and applications, reviewing long-term care provider contracts, and ensuring that estate planning documents contain protections such as supplemental needs trusts, where appropriate.
We generally charge a flat fee for a package of estate planning documents. Probate and estate administration services and some elder law services are billed at hourly rates. Please contact us for more specific information about fees and services.