When people think of estate planning, their first thought is usually about saving money or avoiding the probate court process. In truth, estate planning involves much more. A large number of my clients come to me after someone close to them has either died or become incapacitated and had failed to appropriately communicate their wishes.
Sometimes the issue is money, but often it is not. Sometimes it is unclear who is going to make health care decisions. Sometimes family members fight over who should take care of minor children left behind. Sometimes there is disagreement about what the individual would have wanted to happen in the event that his life is being artificially prolonged and there is no reasonable medical probability of recovery.
The one constant is that a lack of clear direction breeds discord and the individual at the center can no longer communicate his wishes. These clients tell me, “I do not want the people I leave behind to have to deal with what I have just been through.” In situations like these, trying to figure out what the individual would have wanted complicates an already stressful time.
I can help your loved ones avoid the fight, by helping you communicate your wishes.
I have included some basic definitions in my Resources section.
Probate refers to the name of the court responsible for the estate of a person who has died. Probate is often required to transfer assets owned by the person who died to the beneficiaries of the estate.
The individuals involved in the probate process are often grieving over the loss of a loved one and handling an estate is the farthest thing from their mind. This is where the help of a caring and experienced attorney can help. If you are going through this process and feel overwhelmed or confused, contact me to set up a free consultation.