Estate Planning FAQ

Estate Planning FAQ

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is the process of making legally effective arrangements to carry out your wishes if something happens to you or those you care about.

Good estate planning designates key personal to carry out your wishes regarding health care and financial matters. An effective plan will direct an individual that you chose, to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so. These instructions may include directives to doctors in the administration or withholding of extraordinary forms of treatment, if you are in a terminal condition.

Another aspect of good estate planning is preservation and proper distribution of wealth. This is accomplished through proper assessment and advisement on what would happen to your home, investments, business, life insurance and employee benefits, should you become disabled or die. A proper estate plan will ensure that your wealth is distributed or maintained as you desire.

What is in an estate plan?

In most instances, an estate plan is comprised of several documents which usually include a will, a medical durable power of attorney, and  a general power of attorney for financial matters, a living will and a memorandum disposing of tangible personal property.

Guardianship documents, a HIPPA release, an advance medical directive, and burial instructions are often included as well. Sometimes, the creation of a trust is an appropriate device to manage family assets.

My former spouse is a named beneficiary in my will, does my former spouse still get my stuff?

A former spouse is not considered to be a surviving spouse, however after a divorce it is best to have your estate planning documents rewritten to clarify your intentions about the disposition of your estate.

Will having another baby affect your estate plan?

Probably not, but it’s a good idea to review your documents. If your will names your child(ren) specifically then it will have an affect. Most wills and testamentary documents will refer to your descendants as “children”  or  “descendants” if this is the case, then your new child will be included in this group. You may want to take this opportunity to review your documents to make sure that your estate is being distributed to your beneficiaries in the manner that you wish. This is also a good time to review life insurance policies and retirement plans.

How much does an estate plan cost?

Almost all of  my services are provided on a sliding scale flat-fee basis. Which means you’ll pay one fee for your entire project. I provide packages as well a-la-carté services. Follow this link to learn more about my fees: Law Office of Paul Miller Affordable Legal Fees.

How long does the estate planning process take?

After I receive your initial intake form, the entire process takes a little over a month.

How do I get started?

Schedule an initial consultation or fill in my contact form here.


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