Frequently Asked Questions
What is probate?
Probate is the process of transferring assets to beneficiaries
under a will or to heirs at law when there is no will. Some estates
require the appointment of an administrator or executor. Others
Why would I need a probate attorney?
Regardless of whether or not your loved one had a will or not,
you will need an attorney to obtain Letters Testamentary or Letters
of Administration to access any bank accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement
accounts, insurance proceeds payable to the Estate, and to transfer
title to real or personal property. After an administration is created,
the administrator or executor will need an attorney to file the
estate inventory and annual accountings.
What is guardianship?
Guardianship is the legal process that allows one person to make
personal, financial and medical decisions for another person. The
Court can create a guardianship of the person, a guardianship of
the estate or a guardianship of the person and estate.
Why would I need a guardianship attorney?
If someone is in need of a guardianship, a guardianship attorney
will be required to file the application and represent the applicant
at the hearing to create the guardianship. Once a guardian is appointed,
the guardian of the estate will need an attorney to file an inventory
and annual accountings.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that allows you to determine how your
property will be distributed upon your death.
If I don’t have a will, does the state get my
No. If you die without a will, your heirs at law will inherit your
property. Heirs at law include spouses, children, parents, siblings,
grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Very few people have their
property go to the state when they die.
How can I avoid guardianship?
Generally, a guardianship can be avoided by having advanced directives
in place like financial and medical powers of attorney.
What is a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney?
A Statutory Durable Power of Attorney is an advanced directive
that allows you to appoint an agent to act on your behalf in completing
a variety of financial and property transactions in the event you
are unavailable to do so for yourself.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
A Medical Power of Attorney is an advanced directive that allows
you to appoint an agent to make medical decision on your behalf
in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.
Can I decide who my guardian will be if I become incapacitated?
Yes, by executing a designation of guardian in the event of later
incapacity you can decide who will be your guardian if you need
Can I decide who will be the guardian for my children
if I die or become incapacitated?
Yes, by executing a designation of guardian for minor children
you can decide who will be appointed guardian for your children
if you can no longer take care of them.
Legal Links and other places of interest
For more in-depth answers to any of these questions, please contact me.
Nothing contained in this site should be construed as legal
advice nor shall it be deemed to create an attorney/client relationship.