Wills, Trusts & Estates

Wills and Trusts are a part of Estate Planning, which is the process of making sure that a person’s wishes concerning their health and their property are honored and carried out. A person’s “estate” consists of all the property they own including cash, real estate, stocks, life insurance policies and personal property. Proper estate planning, such as making a valid will, ensures that the people (“beneficiaries”) and family members you specify will receive the property that the person who makes a trust or will decides to give or “bequest” to them. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that appoints a third party (“trustee”) to hold and administrate the assets of the trust on behalf of those beneficiaries named to receive benefits. Probate court (or “surrogates court”) may be required if a person dies without a will (“intestate”) and who manages the administration of estates and cases where a will is challenged or “contested.” Should you become hospitalized and unable to make your own decisions, you can plan for this possibility in advance by creating a health care proxy and living will in order to make sure that your wishes are carried out. A power of attorney enables you to legally appoint a person to make decisions on your behalf, including those concerning medical care, life support and financial decisions.

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Michael Wechsler
Updated
3 min read
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3,357
As you get older, it becomes more important to understand the need for a medical power of attorney, which will help you empower others to make important medical decisions for you when you're unable to do so yourself. It is important to understand why a medical power of attorney is necessary and...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
4 min read
Views
3,991
A "medical power of attorney" enables you to appoint someone else to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself. This legal document is also known as a "healthcare proxy" or "durable power of attorney" and is an important part of prudent estate planning...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
5 min read
Views
3,515
A Living Will, Medical Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy may be used when a person is incapacitated and unable to make important medical decisions. If someone is involved in a serious car accident or suffer a heart attack, they may be unable to voice their wishes as to whether life...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
5 min read
Views
6,168
When a person dies “intestate” or without a will, that person’s estate will usually pass through a probate court for review and a determination made of how and to whom the property should be distributed. Each state in the United States has its own laws governing the distribution of an estate...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
4 min read
Views
4,661
In the event that you die with having a will, also known as “intestate”, a court of law may decide who will inherit your home, your bank account and who will raise your minor children. "Probate" is the process where a court of law supervises the distribution of property after a person dies...
Michael Wechsler
4 min read
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings
Views
4,996
There are many ways to create a will valid. Some states may recognize handwritten or "holographic" wills - even a last will and testament scrolled onto an envelope may be legally recognized. While sometimes we can dispense with formalities, it is generally not a good to rely upon exceptions to...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
2 min read
Views
2,599
Life situations change over time. After creating a will, it is advisable to review its terms from time to time to update it to fit current life situations. Experienced attorneys and estate planners suggest reviewing and updating your will every 3-5 years or after a potential major life changing...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
4 min read
Views
66,276
Some people decide to create their own will, perhaps by purchasing computer software and preparing one with the help of a program. Upon completing the written portion of the will, it is likely there will be instructions on how to get it witnessed in order to make it valid and enforceable in a...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
7 min read
Views
3,098
When a person dies, that person’s estate is distributed to his or her heirs. It is in everyone’s best interest for each person to have a will, which states exactly how the deceased wants his or her estate to be distributed and who will receive each piece of property. With a will, the wishes of...
Michael Wechsler
Updated
5 min read
Views
2,778
Working for a lifetime should reflect a lifetime of wealth. But that significant effort can be erased quickly with poor estate planning, resulting in the significant reduction of an estate's assets when it passes between generations. With a little advance planning, easy mistakes can be avoided...
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