Wills & Estates

The primary goal of our estate planning, elder and probate law practices is to provide a client-centered, personal approach to creating cost-effective, legally sound plans that protect clients’ assets and reflect their wishes.  Our practice involves not just legal representation but ongoing counseling and advice on all aspects of this process, including the following matters:

  • Wills: Your will determines who receives your real estate and personal belongings upon your death.  Your will also controls who will be the person responsible for administering your estate.  In your will, you may also appoint a guardian for any children and direct that a trust be established for their benefit.

  • Durable Power of Attorney / Health Care Proxy: These instruments allow you to designate a person or persons to make financial and medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated.

  • Living Wills: A living will permits you to instruct your physicians and others concerning end-of-life decisions and make clear the type of care you do and do not wish to receive.  (This document supplements a health care proxy.)

  • Homesteads: A declaration of homestead allows each homeowner to protect their property up to $500,000 (or $1,000,000 for those elderly (62 or older) or disabled) from pre-existing creditors’ claims.

  • Revocable Living Trusts: A revocable living trust enables you to maintain control over your assets during your lifetime and pass assets directly to a beneficiary upon your death while avoiding probate and the involvement of the courts.  We can assist in creating a living trust that is tailored to your unique situation.

  • A/B Marital Trusts: A/B Trusts are used by married couples to maximize their use of the federal and state estate tax exemptions of both spouses.

  • Special Needs Trusts: If you or a family member is disabled, an inheritance, settlement or other award may threaten one’s entitlement to public benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid.  A properly drafted and administered special needs trust may be able to protect both the assets and the benefits of the disable person.

  • Guardianship/Conservatorship: We assist in the appointment of personal guardians or conservators who act in the place of individuals unable to make decisions regarding property or assets due to mental illness, disability, or other incapacity.

  • Probate and Estate Administration: We facilitate the estate administration process, including the approval of your will, the appointment of your personal representative, the payment of your debts and taxes, and the proper distribution of your assets.

  • Same-Sex and Unmarried Couples: Members of the LGBTQ community and unmarried couples often must take special, proactive measures to ensure that they are empowered when their partners need them most and to ensure that they receive what they are entitled to upon their death or disability.  We are dedicated to creating individualized estate plans for you and your partner so that you can have peace of mind knowing that you are both protected and that the state – and your family – will comply with your wishes.