My practice was established in 1990 and is dedicated to matters of Probate/Trust Administration and Estate Planning: assisting personal representatives and trustees in administering estates and trusts; preparing wills and trusts; providing advice and required documentation for minimizing estate tax; and informing clients about the various methods of avoiding probate. An important part of my practice is helping clients in the preparation of powers of attorney and in the preparation of health care directives (living wills). With more than 34 years of experience, I am prepared to assist you in all matters related to:
Although valuable tax savings, probate avoiding, or other important planning advice can addressed prior to death, I am ready to help any person or family at any stage. Office phone: 651-273-3993 or email: [email protected].
A call from a family member soon after death can be helpful – regarding the protection of property and questions about the funeral and what comes next, such as whether a probate procedure is required, etc.
I have taught Estates and Trusts in law school, participated in national seminars for attorneys in probate and trust administration, and have many years of experience in probate and trust administration. I have earned the advance law degree of Master of Laws (in taxation) – an LL.M .
Although most of my clients come to me with routine probate or planning matters (wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, etc.), my education and experience also equips me for larger or complicated matters.
Trust preparation and administration: Trusts have many uses.
One common use of a trust is the appointment of a trustworthy person to administer assets for minor or youthful children upon the passing of a parent. Often substantial sums of money or valuable assets received all at once by someone not prepared to wisely invest can result in waste, avoided by having a trustee be in charge of the assets and provide for a child’s needs until an age at which the child can be expected to have gathered a certain amount of financial wisdom. Such a trust is usually made a part of a will, in which case it is referred to as a “testamentary trust” and the document is called a “contingent trust will” (contingent on the child being under a certain age when the parent dies). The will is then no longer a “simple will.”
Another common benefit of a trust is to avoid or minimize estate taxes when an individual or couple has combined assets of more than a million dollars (or hope to). Such a trust can be build into a will or stand alone as a revocable trust. A revocable trust can avoid the delays and costs of a probate administration.
A revocable trust can be especially beneficial in this regard when there is real estate in a state outside of the home state of the person whose estate is being planned.
Trustees for any kind of trust should avail themselves of competent legal advice regarding duties of administering a trust before or after the death of the maker of the trust — or upon the disability of its maker. I am glad to answer questions and to assist.
Power of Attorney – a power of attorney can be a ‘life-saver’ when you cannot be in two places at once — or if you become ill or incapacitated and your signature is required. A power of attorney in the right hands can be used to favorably situate your assets in an emergency or sign hospital or other emergency documents (without your helper risking become responsible for payment for your care). There are special considerations that a qualified attorney could bring to the decision of appointing an “attorney-in-fact” (the technical term for a person who is given a power of attorney). I am glad to assist you in this regard.
The usual Health Care Directive is designed to be useful only when the person is unable to speak for themselves.
I have designed health care directive language which expands the benefit of the document to include “medical authorization” for the persons named as health care agents – so trusted persons have the authority to freely receive medical information from the doctors, nurses, or other health care providers even when the person continues to be able to speak on their own behalf. When one is ill it may be especially useful that trusted persons have access to medical charts and lab reports and routine information about how you are – as doctors and nurses usually don’t have time to explain everything clearly to the patient. Trusted persons who are willing to make the effort to understand by research or personal investigation – can then explain the medical situation to the patient – without the time constraints of the medical personnel. The persons can also communicate usefully with others in the family about the condition of the patient. Having this medical authorization in the Health Care Directive gives you an advocate (or advocates) when
illness or age makes everything a burden.
Additionally, I can provide a health care directive that authorizes several persons to independently have access to information from your health care providers during your illness, and it can then empower a certain person of your choice to speak for you should you become unable to speak for yourself.
I invite you to meet me, first – to get to know me, and secondly – for me to review your situation to determine your needs. You will not be billed if you decide not to to have me help with your planning. Planning costs depend on your needs – not on a schedule.
Any planning documents you already have such as a will, power of attorney, health care directive (living will), may be helpful to have with you for review at our meeting.
INITIAL VISIT: You are welcome to bring with you to meetings with me, whomever you think may be helpful – such as a person you may like to assist if you become ill – or someone you may ask to settle your estate upon your passing. Second guessing regarding your selection of an attorney they haven’t checked out themselves can be expected from a spouse, a child, or someone you wish to rely on if you become ill or pass away, if they are not present at an exploratory meeting with an attorney. Their presence at the first visit may be especially helpful if you are ill or elderly.