Estate Planning & Probate

Everyone needs an estate plan. It is common to plan an estate by using a last will and testament or a living trust. Utilizing a revocable living trust allows an individual to avoid his or her estate passing through probate upon death. However, use of a trust or will is essential for maintaining control over who inherits your property and who is responsible for taking care of your estate upon your death. If you have young children, you need to appoint a guardian for them in the event you are unable to care for them.

Another essential component of a basic estate plan is planning for incapacity. Everyone should have a health care power of attorney, in which you appoint an agent to make medical and health care decisions if you are unable to do so. A “living will” (or “declaration to physicians”) conveys your wishes to your physician with regard to sustaining your life by use of long term life-support systems.

In addition, we offer high-net worth estate planning. Frequently, those with large estates wish to avoid or reduce estate taxes, make substantial gifts to charity, plan for survival and succession of a family business or ranch, and protect assets from creditors for generations to come. Julie Edwards in our office has substantial experience in assisting high-net worth individuals, families and business owners plan their estates to accomplish all of their objectives in the most expeditious and effective manner.

We can also assist families who are faced with Medicaid and Long Term Care issues when a loved one needs the care and treatment that can be provided by a nursing home or assisted living facility. Medicaid and long-term care planning is critical and, generally, the earlier you being the process, the more favorable results you can achieve.

Please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation to begin your estate planning.