What is “wills and estates” and how do I know if I need legal counsel?

In short, “wills and estates” generally involves the body of law that governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation of the event of such person’s incapacity or death. Many trusts are created as an alternative to or in conjunction with a will
and other elements of estate planning.

Did you know that the area “wills and estates” can sometimes overlap with the area that has come to be known as “elder law” that deals not only with estate planning but other issues that face the elderly, such as home care, long term care insurance, or Social Security disability benefits? willsandestats.jpg

In 2007, Harris Interactive® for Martindale-Hubbell® conducted a research study and found that for the last three years, 55% of all adult Americans do not have a will. This is a frightening number. In most jurisdictions, if there is no will, the state then determines how a deceased person’s assets and liabilities are handled.

Are you prepared if something catastrophic happens to you? Is your family protected? Do you have a basic will, power of attorney and/or living will? If your answer is no, Gultanoff and Associates can help.

Do you know the answer to any of these estate law scenarios?
Your father passed away and you are the executor of his estate. He has a checking account and the bank refuses to give you any information on it. Can they withhold any information from you?
What can one do when you find that the property left to you in a will “disappears” once the executor of the estate became involved?
A lawyer is writing a will for someone, can the lawyer also be a beneficiary of that will?
How can you find out exactly who are the beneficiaries under a will?