Wills and Estate Planning

Wills

Do I Need A Will? A simple will is one of the most basic legal documents. It allows you to specify who will inherit your estate, and who will be in charge of it. Two good examples of the problems that can arise when you don’t have a will involve Howard Hughes, a billionaire, whose heirs spent years fighting in court over the money, and Prince.

Even if you aren’t one of the rich and famous, an attorney can prepare a will for you, which can assist your family when they take care of the financial and property interests after your death. Parents of young children can also appoint someone to handle any money the child might inherit, and nominate someone to serve as their guardian.

Trusts

A Trust can be used for a number of purposes, including protecting the inheritance of a minor child, or providing for the special needs of a disabled person.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is, in some ways, the opposite of a Will. A Power of Attorney allows someone to make financial decisions for you during your lifetime, while a Will only takes effect upon your death.

Probate

Probate is the process by which an individual is appointed to handle the financial affairs of someone who has died. If there is a Will, the person or persons named as Executors will present the Will to the Register of Wills. If there is no Will, the Register will appoint someone, usually the next of kin, to serve as Administrator. In either case, the person appointed will gather up the assets, pay the just debts, file any necessary tax returns, and then distribute the money to the heirs.

An attorney can provide valuable legal advice and experience, either to prepare documents such as wills or powers of attorneys, or to do the legal work involved in handling an estate.

Living Will

A living will is a document that expresses someones intentions and desire to refuse life-sustaining treatment, if they are in a terminal condition.

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