Wills & Estate Administration Services
Allisan can assist you and your family by preparing one or all of the following documents:
- Last Will & Testament
- Living Will
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Estate Administration
Last Will & Testament
Adults of all ages should have a Will to document important wishes as to how they would like their affairs handled upon death. Attorney Adams is thorough when assisting clients in thinking about all possible outcomes, so as to avoid any results that may impact the estate or family negatively. She will clearly explain the various appointments in a will, such as the role of the Executor, Trustee and Guardian of minors, to enable a client to make an informed decision when entrusting others to these roles.
A Living Will is an example of an advanced medical directive. In simple terms it is a legal document that delineates one’s medical decisions in advance. Even though living wills may be signed without legal counsel, given the extreme importance of the document and the nuances between what is accepted and what is not, it is highly recommended that one use legal counsel.
Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney provides the appointed person access to the client’s assets without court intervention. Any person creating and executing a Power of Attorney must be legally competent. The powers that the client grants in a Power of Attorney are broad and allow the attorney-in-fact to act as the client would act. Among many other powers, they allow a health care representative to communicate his or her health care decisions in the event of the client’s incapacity. Without a designated representative, the probate court may have to appoint a conservator to make health care decisions along with other personal decisions for the client. In such event, there is no guarantee that a family member will be appointed. In addition, the cost may be burdensome.
If one of your family members passes away, Attorney Adams can navigate the Probate Court process known as Estate Administration on your behalf.
Estate Administration is the process by which a decedent’s estate is settled. Its main purpose is to ensure that where a will exists, the decedent’s wishes are followed with regard to the division of property. Where a decedent dies intestate (without a will), then the decedent’s estate will pass in accordance with existing Connecticut laws of intestacy.
The Probate Court’s primary role is to handle will processing through a process called estate administration. Upon one’s death, an application for probate of the will must be filed in the Probate Court located in, or handling estates from, the town in which a decedent resided. The first task of the Probate Court is to appoint the named Executor of the will as the Fiduciary. If the decedent did not leave a will, the court will appoint an Administrator, who will serve as the Fiduciary. However, if the total value of the estate assets is less than $40,000, than often the appointment of an Executor or Administrator is not necessary.
The responsibilities of the Fiduciary, which Attorney Adams assumes when hired to handle the Estate Administration, are as follows:
- Ascertain what assets the decedent left
- Manage the assets by creating an accounting of them and protecting them
- Prepare an Inventory of all decedent’s assets for the court
- Decide whether to liquidate certain assets or not
- Discover whether any creditors’ claims exist
- Pay creditors prior to making distributions to beneficiaries
- Deal with any will contests
- Tax Filings (both the decedent’s final income tax return as well as estate returns, as applicable)
- Filing papers with probate court
- Attending Probate Hearings