Myths and Facts About Probate

I just need a Will and a Living Will. This will avoid “probate” and allow someone to make medical decisions for me if I cannot express myself.

Not true. A Last Will and Testament is a “road map” that expresses how someone wants their estate (financial and personal belongings that exist at the time of their death) to be distributed by the person they appoint as their Personal Representative.

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Making Decisions About End of Life Medical Treatment

While advances in medicine allow people to live longer, questions are often raised about life-sustaining treatment terminally ill patients may or may not want to receive. Those who fail to formally declare these wishes in writing to family members and medical professionals run the risk of having the courts make these decisions.

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IS A GUARDIANSHIP and CONSERVATORSHIP NECESSARY

If a person becomes mentally or physically handicapped and can no longer make rational decisions about their person or their finances, his or her loved ones may consider a guardianship or a conservatorship whereby a guardian would make decisions concerning the physical person of the disabled individual, and conservators make decisions about the finances.

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How to Contest a Will

You had a loving relationship with your mother and she always said she would leave everything to you and your siblings, but after she died, you discover she had recently written a new will, leaving everything to her housekeeper. Is there anything you can do? If you believe a loved one’s will is not valid, you may be able to contest it. But proving a will is invalid is difficult and this process should be undertaken only if you are sure there is something wrong.

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HOW TO AVOID GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORSHIP

If a person becomes mentally or physically handicapped and can no longer make rational decisions about their person or their finances, his or her loved ones may consider a guardianship or a conservatorship whereby a guardian would make decisions concerning the physical person of the disabled individual, and conservators make decisions about the finances.

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