FAMILY ISSUES | Wills, Estates and Probate (Living Wills and Advance Directives)

What happens when you die or become incapacitated?

Unless you write a will disposing of your property, it will pass to your heirs as called for by the intestate laws of the state. The problem with this is that your desires may not match what the statutes say. Also, if you become incapacitated but don’t leave instructions in advance, important decisions such as the continuation of medical care will have to be made by family members without knowing your desires. In some instances, heated disputes may erupt between family members over the decisions to be made.

So, McCormick and Boyd Law Firm urges its clients to prepare wills, advance directives and living wills so that when the time comes, difficult decisions will not have to be made by a surviving spouse, parent or child in a state of grief.

Many options are available for a person to dispose of property following his or her death. These include wills and trusts. In drafting these documents, Mike McCormick and Boyd Law Firm works closely with the client’s financial and tax advisors to develop a plan of distribution that complies with the client’s wishes, but at the same time minimizes the tax burden on the estate.

A will is a document that disposes of your property in the event of your death. Your property will change over time, so Mike McCormick and Boyd Law Firm always encourages its clients to review their wills at least once a year and whenever a major life-changing event occurs, such as the birth or adoption of a new child or the death of a family member.

McCormick and Boyd Law Firm also works closely with financial and tax advisors to ensure that the probate of a will proceed smoothly, with minimal burden on the surviving family members and beneficiaries.

Before seeking legal advice about having a will related documents drafted, you should gather the following information or documents:

  1. Your full name, date of birth and address
  2. The names, dates of birth and addresses of your spouse, children (if any), and any other
  3. Persons you want to include as beneficiaries
  4. An inventory of your real and personal property
  5. An inventory of your financial assets and debts, including all life insurance and burial policies
  6. A plan of distribution—how you want to dispose of your property amongst the beneficiaries
  7. What you would want done about continuing your medical care if you become incapacitated (advance directives and medical power of attorney)