Without a signed will, the state applies default rules that often do not meet the needs of our clients and their survivors. We assist individuals in preparing a will so that their wishes will be carried out and their families will be protected. In particular, domestic partners and parents with minor children must plan carefully to ensure that the tragedy of a death is not compounded by hardship for their survivors. Our services include complex estate planning to address tax issues and other goals, as well as the creation of trusts.
We also craft a variety of legal instruments for our clients to provide additional protections. We discuss with each client the advisability of having a durable power of attorney, which enables a trusted person or institution to take care of financial and other affairs without the need for the appointment of a guardian. A health care proxy designates a trusted relative, partner, or friend to carry out a client's wishes regarding health care if the client becomes unable to act on his or her own behalf. A living will gives clients the opportunity to express their wishes about end-of-life health care.
For a client who is concerned about a relative, partner, or friend who is incapacitated, we assist in the process of applying for appointment as a guardian. Our involvement in guardianship proceedings includes appointments by the court to represent the interests of the alleged incapacitated person.