Wills and Incapacity Planning
A Will is a written set of instructions directing how you want your assets and personal property distributed after your death. If you have minor children, you can also direct who should be appointed as guardian. Without these instructions, state statute will dictate how and to whom your assets will be distributed. While a will becomes effective only at death, it is also important to plan in the event you become incapacitated during your lifetime. A Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive can help you plan for this. A Revocable Trust is another estate planning tool and can be used to help avoid probate and for incapacity planning. Whether you are single, married, or have children, we can help you establish the right plan to make sure your family, assets and personal property are protected both during lifetime and after your death.
Dealing with the death of a loved one can be a very traumatic and exhausting time. It can be even more overwhelming if the deceased person didn’t have a plan in place to dispose of personal property and assets after death. In some instances, a Probate proceeding may be necessary. Probate is the legal process of settling a deceased person’s affairs after death, often necessitating court involvement. There are many factors that determine whether there will be court involvement, some of which include whether the deceased person died with or without a will, how assets were titled and the amount of assets and other personal property.
Guardianship and Conservatorship
A Guardianship or Conservator may be necessary when an individual is not capable of making personal decisions. Typically a family member or other loved one (or other interested party) can petition the court to be appointed as a Guardian or Conservator for an “incapacitated” person. To determine incapacity, it must be proven that the proposed incapacitated person is unable to make responsible personal decisions and the individual’s judgment or decision making is a major threat to the individual’s welfare. A Guardian is appointed to make personal decisions for the protected person and a Conservator is appointed to make financial decisions for the protected person.