Few things are more personal or important than making sure that your loved ones, your belongings, and yourself are adequately cared for in difficult circumstances. I will work with you to develop an estate planning portfolio that fits your needs. He will gladly help you in any of the following areas:
- Preparing wills, including pour-over wills: Most estate planning portfolios begin with the will. The will directs the disposition of your assets at death. There is also a distinct type of will, called a pour-over will, that is used when you have a trust to ensure that any assets you have that are not part of your trust get “poured over” into your trust at death.
- Preparing codicils: A codicil is not a new will, but an amendment (such as an addition or revocation) to a currently existing will.
- Preparing revocable, living trusts: A trust is a legal instrument that holds your assets during and possibly after your lifetime. A revocable trust may be modified during your lifetime. Generally, the person who creates a trust (the “trustor”) is also the person who initially manages the trust (the “trustee”) and benefits from it (the “beneficiary”) until death. There may be multiple trustors, trustees, and beneficiaries.
- Funding trusts: When a trust is executed, the trustor’s small, personal belongings such as clothes and furniture automatically become “part” of the trust. However, for items that a trustor holds official title to, such as real property (land), condos, bank accounts, and insurance policies, the formal title of those items needs to be changed to reflect that they are “part” of the trust. This process of changing title is called “funding” the trust, and is a very important part of ensuring that your trust is effective.
- Preparing trust amendments and restatements: As noted above, revocable living trusts may be altered during the trustor’s lifetime. An amendment simply clarifies a desired change. A restatement entirely redrafts the trust. For more complex changes, I strongly recommends a restatement.
- Preparing end-of-life preferences in Advance Health Care Directives: Each individual has very personal desires about how they want to be cared for during various medical circumstances. I will ensure that your desires are properly reflected in your documents so that there is no confusion between you, your family, and your medical providers.
- Preparing powers of attorney for financial matters: Powers of attorney enable you to select an individual, or “agent,” to take care of your financial matters in the event that you become incapacitated.
- Guardianships: I can add an addendum or formal guardianship to your estate planning portfolio to ensure that any minor children you may have are properly cared for in your absence.
A traditional estate planning portfolio may have any or all of these documents. I will work closely with you and your family to ensure that your estate planning preferences are properly executed. Please note that I do not practice probate law and I do not take conservatorship cases.