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Determination of guardians for your children

The purpose of the Last Will and Testament is to give the court specific instructions on how to distribute your assets upon your death.  Another important function of your Last Will and Testament is to name your choice for Guardian of minor children in the event neither you nor your spouse survive until they reach the age of 18.  Also, you can leave directions in your Will regarding your preferences for burial, cremation, or final services. It is important for you to know that if property is owned by you and your spouse in "joint tenancy with a right of survivorship," the surviving spouse will own such property notwithstanding a conflicting provision in your Will. In such a case, it will be him or her that ultimately determines the
distribution of such property.

Planning for the distribution of your assets

Everyone has heard the terms "Will" and "Trust," but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning devices that serve difference
purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan. The primary difference between the two is that a Will is in essence instructions to a Probate Court, while one of a Trust’s primary purposes is to avoid probate entirely.  Another main difference between a Will and a Trust is that a Will goes into effect only after you die, while a Trust takes effect as soon as you create it.  We will discuss the other unique features of the two instruments and determine together whether a Trust suits your specific needs.

Creation of a will,trust, or other legal document

Designation of an executor or trustee

Health planning

With a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, a person selects a family member or friend to make decisions about the person's medical treatment if the person ever becomes unable to make or communicate their own medical decisions.

Avoiding probate

The purpose of a Revocable Trust is primarily to avoid probate.  If an individual passes away owning property in their individual name, probate is required.  A probate is technically a lawsuit filed in District Court in which one of the individuals interested in your estate (an heir, your spouse, or a creditor) petitions the court and asks the court to enter an order requiring your property to be conveyed by the executor or administrator, to various parties.  Notices are published in newspapers, your assets become a matter of public record at the courthouse, and the executor or administrator must, in large part, request permission from the court to dispose of property and take action in administering your estate.