Probate, Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney
A Proper Will to Minimize Probate: In order to minimize the inconvenience and expense of a probate of an estate, a person should prepare a proper will. If properly prepared, the probate of the personâ€™s estate will usually involve no contact with the court, except for the initial petition filed with the court clerkâ€™s office, who then issues an order allowing the estateâ€™s personal representative to collect the estateâ€™s assets for distribution as directed in the will. If the will has any deficiencies, or there is no will, then the probate will require some oversight by the court, but it should be minimal unless a third party contests any of the actions of the person applying to act as the personal representative or the appointed personal representative. Similarly, if a trust was prepared by the deceased, and it was properly implemented, involvement by the court should be minimal unless a dispute arises.
Collecting Assets in Small Estates: In instances where the estate is not large enough to warrant a probate, the assets can be collected by an heir for distribution simply by preparing an affidavit avowing that the estate is insufficient in size and a certain amount of time has passed since the date of the deceasedâ€™s death.
Full Probate Services: Whether you need to prepare a will, probate a will or distribute the assets from a trust, or contest the proposed distribution of assets in the deceasedâ€™s estate or trust, I can advise or represent you.
Powers of Attorney: If you need to prevent an expensive and time-consuming guardianship and conservatorship should you or a loved-one become mentally incapacitated, then you should prepare a general power of attorney that appoints someone to step in and take control of the estate of the incapacitated person. This document can be drafted so that it takes effect immediately or only if the person is diagnosed to be incompetent, but, it is important to keep in mind that once a person becomes mentally incompetent, the person cannot prepare a valid power of attorney.