What happens if I don’t have a will?
If a person dies without a will, the laws of intestacy will distribute his or her estate in accordance with a default system established by the government.
What happens if I don’t have a durable power of attorney?
If you are incapacitated or disabled without a durable power of attorney, a judge may have to appoint a guardian and/or a conservator to manage your affairs. This can be a protracted legal process.
How do I avoid probate?
There are several ways to avoid or minimize probate, including Transfer on Death Deeds, Living Trusts, designated beneficiaries/survivors, and more. Each strategy comes with its own costs, complexities, and benefits. Our attorneys will counsel you based on your specific situation.
My elderly parent is disabled or in a nursing facility. Is it too late to plan his or her estate?
Not necessarily. Estate plans must be executed while the signing individual still has the mental capacity to know and understand what is being signed. After a person loses this capacity, an attorney cannot assist in the planning or execution of their estate documents.
How can I avoid the estate or gift tax?
Although law and tax are closely related, we encourage our clients to use the expert advice of an accountant in planning for taxes. Like the law, tax regulations are constantly changing, and accountants are best suited to handle this dynamic area.