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Plan Your Estate To Preserve Assets; Manage Probate To Respect Wishes

Estate planning and probate are two sides of the same coin. Each has its time and place. Naturally, most of us may realize that estate planning is largely for the sake of others – but it is also for our peace of mind. We may also realize that probate representation helps us take care of final affairs for someone who has passed away – but it also protects us from accusations of breach of fiduciary duties. Estate planning and probate law, then, is truly intergenerational in nature.

At Messick Law, PLLC, we help clients see both sides of the equation and understand the purpose of each facet and requirement of estate planning and administration. Our lawyers are here to guide you effectively, thoroughly and efficiently through any estate-related matter, including estate litigation.

Tackling Your Will, Trusts, Powers Of Attorney And Probate Administration Needs

We often help clients create and update their wills, establish trusts, create business succession plans, set up guardianships, prepare powers of attorney and, overall, put their estate plans in order. We also represent both plaintiffs and defendants in will contests and other types of estate litigation.

When we have a client who is a trustee or has been named executor or personal representative, we guide them step by step through probate and estate administration duties.

People often come to us with questions such as, “My father or mother died, and I got a notice that my brother is in charge of the estate. What does that mean for me?” Our experience and depth of knowledge allow us to get to the heart of a matter quickly and set our clients at ease, arming them with the understanding and tools they need for each unique situation.

As we advise and represent clients in estate and probate cases, their needs often overlap with some of our firm’s areas of focus such as the management of special needs trusts and other elder law matters. We can help you revise your estate plan after a marriage, divorce or the birth of your first child. We serve clients throughout their life cycles.

What Should I Consider When Choosing An Estate Planning Or Probate Attorney?

Consider these factors:

  • Years of practice: Prioritize their experience in the field.
  • Legal knowledge: Ensure that they have a robust understanding of estate and probate law, particularly as it pertains to your state’s regulations.
  • Unique solutions: The attorney should also offer personalized planning and tailoring strategies to fit your unique needs.
  • Client communication: Clear communication from the attorney is crucial, as you’ll need to understand complex legal concepts.

Additionally, inquire about their fee structure – whether they charge flat rates for specific services or operate on an hourly basis – so you can anticipate the cost of their services.

How Does The Estate Planning Process Work, And What Documents Are Involved?

Estate planning typically involves drafting a will to declare your wishes for your asset distribution and care for minors. It might also include setting up trusts to distribute your assets following your death or incapacitation. Designating a power of attorney is essential to manage your affairs, covering both health care and financial decisions. A health care directive further specifies your medical treatment preferences. An estate planning attorney will ensure these documents meet legal standards, reflect your wishes accurately, and advise on executors and trustees.

What Is Probate, And How Can A Probate Attorney Help Me Through The Process?

Probate is the court-supervised process that authenticates a deceased person’s will and oversees the asset distribution. It begins with filing the will in probate court. During probate, an executor or administrator manages the estate, which may involve paying debts and distributing assets to beneficiaries. A probate attorney can simplify this complex process, assist the executor and help settle any disputes that arise, ensuring the deceased’s wishes are honored, and make sure you follow the right legal protocol.

Discover What Draws Others To Our Firm

We look forward to helping you recognize and understand what you need to do – and then helping you put a plan into action. To schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning and probate law attorneys, call us at 651-505-2655 or send an email inquiry.