Wills • Powers of Attorney • Personal Directives
You may have heard the old saying that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. It is true.
The goal of estate planning is to plan in advance for possible mental incapacity and eventual death. It allows you to take control of these situations so that if and when they occur, your wishes will be respected, and will be carried out by people you trust. The planning process is simple, gives you a series of documents that will likely last for many years, and is far less expensive that leaving it to your loved ones to pick up the pieces at a time of great stress. Your plan will create certainty and minimize the potential for later conflict later. This is one of the best gifts that you can give to those you love.
We will meet with you to discuss your needs and priorities in detail. We will prepare your Will (to distribute your property after your death), Power of Attorney (allowing a trusted person to make financial and property decisions for you if necessary), and Personal Directive (giving your instructions for medical care if you become incapacitated). All of these will be prepared in plain language, not “legalese”.
Guardianship & Trusteeship
Sometimes, however, diminished mental capacity strikes before a loved one has created a Power of Attorney or Personal Directive. When this happens, it may be necessary for you or someone else to apply to the Court to assist with decision making, or to make decisions on behalf of that person. Most commonly, this involves an application to be appointed as a Guardian or as a Trustee (or both). We can help you with the application process.
If you are already an appointed Guardian or Trustee, we can advise you with respect to your duties, and assist you with recurring matters such as passing accounts or applying for a review of your appointment.
When a person dies, their money and property (the “estate”) must be dealt with. The person responsible for administering the estate is an “executor” (if appointed by a Will) or an “administrator” (if there is no Will). This is a position of great trust and responsibility. It requires meticulous attention to detail. The paperwork and processes to manage an estate effectively can frequently appear daunting.
We assist executors and administrators to manage estates with careful planning and step by step guidance to simplify the process. We can assist with the management of the estate from beginning to end, or we can provide more limited services to executors who feel confident with the overall management of an estate, but require legal advice or limited assistance with respect to a particular issue.
We also assist beneficiaries or other persons involved in an estate, including litigation (court cases) relating to the management of estates