GDO Law recognizes that Estate Planning and Probate are essential legal services for all individuals. We have extensive experience working with clients on various issues that arise when planning for the well-being of family and loved ones. Our firm understands the difficulties individuals face when planning for the future, which is why we strive to explain these complex issues in easy to understand terms throughout this important process.
Estate Planning is the process in which a person prepares for the management and transfer of their assets and arranges for the care of their loved ones. We are able to counsel clients on matters ranging from simple estate planning to the more complex tax planning required for larger estates. Understanding that estate planning is unique to individuals, we may recommend the following as part of your estate plan:
- Will: A Will establishes who will receive the assets of your estate, as well as who will take on certain responsibilities after your death. The Will also specifies who will care for your minor children upon your death, and may include a trust for the benefit of your spouse, children or loved ones.
- Health Care Directive: A Health Care Directive (or “living will”) identifies who you authorize to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity. It also communicates directions to the health care agent, concerning certain desires you have regarding health care decisions on your behalf.
- Power of Attorney: a Power of Attorney designates an individual whom you give authority to access and transfer your assets, either limited or more generally. This can be especially important in the event that you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to transact your own financial affairs.
Probate is the legal process that manages and transfers certain assets owned by a deceased individual. The type of probate proceeding required will depend upon the terms of a will, if any, the size of an estate, and whether any minors are involved.
The probate process is commenced by an application seeking probate of an estate and appointment by the court of a person to serve as the Personal Representative of the Estate. A Personal Representative will have a number of responsibilities, including:
- Collection and Inventory of Assets
- Obtaining a Tax ID Number and Establishing a Checking Account
- Determination and Payment of Expenses and Creditor’s Claims
- Determination of Persons Entitled to Distributions
- Sale or Transfer of Real Estate
- Distribution of Monies, Assets, and Personal Property
We understand that your family or friends have trusted you to finalize their affairs, and we can provide you the necessary assistance in completing the duties as the Personal Representative of an estate.