Approximately only 42% of Americans have a Will and only slightly more than 50% of Americans have health care powers of attorney or advance directives. Normally referred to collectively as advanced planning documents or estate planning documents, these usually consist of a Will, financial power of attorney and an advance directive for health care. Sometimes, these documents include a trust.
While many people believe that such documents are not necessary, individuals with children would benefit from having a Will which identifies the individuals who would care for those children in the event of the death of the parents. Financial powers of attorney and health care advance directives are extremely helpful in the event of accident, injury, and illness in which you are unable to make decisions or communicate your wishes. With these documents, you can designate the individual that you wish to make decisions for you.
Our attorneys can draft these advanced planning documents for you in order to protect you and your loved ones.
The death of a loved one can be a devastating experience. Having to arrange a funeral, take care of final expenses, and distribute property can be daunting. If the deceased has a Will, that Will lists the individual chosen to be the Personal Representative of the deceased’s estate. If that person did not have a Will, the court will have to appoint a Personal Representative and the property in the estate will be distributed by a process known as Intestate Succession.
Even small estates involve court filings, tax payments, the sale of property, and navigating the probate process. If your loved one has passed away, even if they did not have a Will, contact our office. Our attorneys and paralegals can assist you to manage the probate process.
Even in cases where the deceased’s Will clearly set out his/her wishes, there may be family members or others who may file in court to challenge that Will. These will contests or caveats can be expensive and lengthy court battles. In addition, during the probate process, there may actions to replace the Personal Representative, defend creditor claims, or challenges by Interested Persons to the accountings filed by the Personal Representative. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with the court actions accompanying this type of litigation.