Estate Planning concerns a person’s strategy on how their assets should be distributed after their death.  The two most well-known strategies are creating a will or a trust.

Wills go through probate court.  Trusts do not.  Besides wills, the probate court also hears cases involving guardianships, conservatorships, and cases on the mental health docket.

Besides trusts, other estate planning tools which do not go through court include durable powers of attorney, medical directives, and deeds.

Because Estate Planning, deals with distribution of one’s assets after death, this is something people often put off until it is too late.  If a person becomes incompetent because of dementia or suffers from a medical condition which makes him or her unable to communicate no estate planning can occur.

However, by utilizing the proper tools when a person is still reasonably healthy, a person can ensure their wishes will be carried out after they are gone or no longer able to participate in decision making.  Estate Planning tools that go through probate court include:

  • Wills
  • Guardianships
  • Conservatorships
  • Mental Health docket

Estate planning tools that do not go through court include:

  • Trusts
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Deeds
Practice Areas