The first step will be to determine whether or not you require a simple Will or both a Will and a Trust. In order to determine which estate plan is the most appropriate, we will meet with you to complete a simple profile questionnaire and discuss your objectives to assist with identifying your short-term and long-term estate planning goals.
Once we determine what type of estate plan is needed, we will prepare a first draft of the documents for you to review and discuss with your family members. We will prepare only those legal documents that are necessary to pass property to the chosen individuals in the manner desired. We will then discuss with you any changes you may want to make pertaining to the distribution of your estate. The documents will then be finalized and prepared for your signature. If you decide to establish a trust, certain assets will then need to be transferred to the trust.
This instrument appoints individuals who will make financial decisions during times of absence or incapacitation.
For more information, read our page on power of attorney.
Another important reason to meet with an estate-planning lawyer is to establish health care directives. This is a legal document that states your wishes regarding your healthcare in the event you are rendered unconscious or otherwise unable to state your wishes to family and medical providers alike. At McCarthy & Akers, we can help you draft a health care directive that will help your family and medical providers make important decisions regarding your personal care if you are unable to do so.
By creating a living trust, clients may avoid probate. Much like a will, a living trust will describe happens to your property in the event of your death. While you are alive, you remain in control and have the power to change or alter the trust at any time. Setting up a living trust allows you to avoid the expense and long delays of probate, and may even save you money on taxes.