• Wills allow a person to direct how their assets will be distributed after their death.
  • Wills allow a person to name a guardian for their minor children and other dependents.
  • Wills DO NOT avoid probate.
  • Frequently referred to as a last will and testament.

Revocable Trust

  • Also known as a living trust or an inter vivos trust
  • Can own most forms of property.
  • Can be used to pass property to beneficiaries without probate.
  • Makes managing your estate much simpler should you become unable to manage your affairs.
  • Can be used to delay the transfer of your estate to your children, until your children have reached a certain (mature) age.
  • Can own property, and thus eliminate need for probate, in multiple states.
  • Generally private and does not require court intervention.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

  • Allows a person to name an agent who will make medical decisions if the person is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make medical decisions.
  • Allows a person to proactively make certain end of life decisions to take the burden off their loved ones.
  • DOES NOT allow an agent to make financial decisions for the principal.
  • Generally not activated until the principal is declared to lack capacity by a healthcare professional.
  • Generally avoids the necessity of a guardian of the person if incapacitated.

Living Will

  • Allows a person to make end of life decisions.
  • Related to a healthcare power of attorney, but not the same.
  • A living will is NOT the same as a last will and testament.

Durable Power of Attorney for Finance

  • Allows the principal to grant the authority to make certain financial decisions for the principal.
  • May be limited in nature or very broad.
  • If properly drafted generally eliminates the need for a guardianship of the estate if incapacitated.


  • The process of administering an estate after someone passes.
  • A public process overseen by the court.
  • Has specific deadlines that must be met.
  • Frequently requires the executor to obtain a probate bond.
  • A lengthy process requiring at least six months, and frequently a year or more to complete.


Elder Law

  • Medicaid planning advice.
  • Personal care agreements.
  • Rental agreements for parents.
  • In-law apartment agreements.
  • Analysis of options such as:
    • Home care by family members.
    • Home care by professional caregivers.
    • Independent living.
    • Assisted Living.
    • Nursing Facility Care.
  • Alternate sources of financing senior care.
  • Estate planning for parents – powers of attorney, trusts and wills

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