July 28, 2016
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Whether simple or complex, estate planning is one of the most important preventive legal measures that can be taken by an individual. Proper planning can save thousands of dollars in court fees for the appointment of a guardian/conservator by the simple execution of proper home care and general durable powers of attorney. Anyone who has children should at least a simple will directing who will care for their children in the event of their death and under what terms. An attempt to prepare and execute any of these legal documents without proper counsel, can be extremely risky, because if they are not properly executed or do not accurately dictate what is to happen, it may be impossible to carry out your wishes if you are suddenly incapacitated, or worse yet die. As such, periodic reviews of a will to ensure that its provisions still reflect your desires regarding the care for your minor children and the disposition of your assets at the time of your death is strongly recommended.
Probate is simply the carrying into legal effect of your desires as expressed in your will. If you have a properly executed will, such can be a fairly simple process, at a fairly minimal cost to you for the assistance of counsel. Failure to have a properly executed will can make this process both complicated and expensive, and could result in your desires not actually being carried out by the court. Surviving spouses, or designated personal representatives should contact counsel shortly after someone’s passing, to obtain advice on how they can perform their obligations under the law in a manner which minimizes the stress upon them, while at the same time assists them in obtaining any benefits and relief to which they are entitled under the will or otherwise.
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