It may be difficult to think about how your family will handle your affairs and finances after you pass away, but it is absolutely essential that you do. Estate planning allows you to dictate how your property and assets are distributed in the event of your death. Failure to properly plan could mean that your estate goes to people whom you did not choose. In some situations, your estate may even go to the government.
At The Fitzgerald Law Firm, we will assist you in making decisions about your estate and help you create a comprehensive estate plan to carry out your decisions. For already existing estates, you and your family may have to go through the Probate system. The Probate process is easier on all involved when planning is done in advance with an experienced Probate attorney on hand. Let us help you with this process.
Powers of Attorney
Durable Power of Attorney – Allows a person (the “grantor”) to authorize someone else to act on the grantor’s behalf. A power of attorney is “durable” if it continues in effect even if the grantor becomes disabled.
- General Power of Attorney – Allows an individual (the “grantor”) to authorize someone else to act on the grantor’s behalf.
- Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney – Used to give notice that a previously granted power of attorney has been revoked.
- Special Power of Attorney – Allows an individual (the “grantor”) to authorize someone else to act on the grantor’s behalf. It is considered “special” because it only authorizes the attorney to do specific things.
Wills, Trusts, and Estates
- Living Trusts – Used by an adult (the “settlor”) to set up a revocable trust to hold the grantor’s property during his or her lifetime and distribute it upon death as directed in the Trust.
- Living Trust Amendments – Used by someone to amend a Living Trust that has been executed.
- Living Trust Revocations – Used by someone to revoke a Living Trust that has been executed.
- Wills – Used to distribute the assets of the person making the Will (the “testator”) upon their death. Wills are also used to express preferences regarding the guardianship of minor children at such time.
- Pour Over Wills – Provides for the distribution of the assets of the person making the will (the “testator”) to the testator’s Living Trust. This form should be used only if the testator has already created a Living Trust.
- Codicil to a Will – Used to make changes to a will. This form allows someone to change property designations and preferences regarding the guardianship of minor children and make other modifications without destroying the original will.
- Letters Changing a Beneficiary – Used to notify a bank, insurance company, pension plan or other entity that the sender wants to designate a new beneficiary.
- Memorial Planner – Used to establish for family and friends a record of preferences regarding memorial services and other important information.
Health and Medical Care Planning
- Health Care Power of Attorney – Authorizes someone else to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.
- Limited Power of Attorney for Medical Treatment – Used by a parent or legal guardian to authorize medical treatment for their children in their absence.
- Living Will – (Sometimes called a “Declaration” ) Provides written direction on the use of life sustaining measures for a person who is unable to communicate health care directions.
- Revocation of Living Will – Used to revoke a Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney or other advance health care document.
- Organ Donation Statement – Used by an adult to make a written declaration of a gift of one or more organs and other body parts upon the maker’s death.
At The Fitzgerald Law Firm your initial consultation is always free and you will always meet directly with one of our attorneys. We understand that appointments during traditional working hours may not be convenient for all, and thus we strive to be available for evening, weekend, and off-site appointments.