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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

These materials are for informational purposes
only. They should not be construed as legal advice. This information is
not intended to replace the assistance of an attorney in any particular
situation. It is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client
relationship.

Should I have an estate plan?

You should have an estate plan if:

  • You are the parent of minor children
  • You have property that you care about
  • You care about your health care treatment.
  • If you do not have minor children, do not care about your property,
    and have no concerns about your health care treatment, then you do
    not need an estate plan. But if you meet any of these categories above,
    you should have an estate plan.

When should I start my estate plan?

The only time that you can prepare and implement an estate plan is while
you are alive and have legal capacity to enter into a contract. If you
are unable to manage your own affairs or suffer from some other disability
which affects your legal capacity, your estate plan may be effectively
challenged by those who assert that you lacked capacity at the time the
documents were created, that you were subjected to fraud, coercion or
undue influence during the creation and implementation of your plan.
The best time to start an estate plan is now, while you have the capacity
to do so.

Does it make sense to use an attorney? Is it expensive?

Only an attorney who regularly practices in the fields of wills, trusts,
probate and estate planning is able to provide you with sound legal advice
as you put your estate plan into place. Often the expense incurred in
retaining an attorney to prepare and help you put an estate plan into
place is worth hundreds of times what you and your family would pay with
no planning or poor planning. It would also avoid the financial and emotional
nightmares that can occur with a poorly drafted (or improper) plan.

When you speak with an attorney, you can get answers to your questions
–including how much it would cost. What sort of instructions are made
as part of an estate plan? An estate plan consists of one or more documents
that set forth instructions.

Some documents are used to control health care decisions, others control
your property in the event of your incapacity, and still other documents
will control the distribution of your property in the event of your death.

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