CAN I MAKE A WILL: You can make a Will if you are eighteen years or older,
or you have been lawfully married, or you are a member of the armed forces of
the United States or of the auxiliaries thereof or of the maritime service,
and you are of sound mind.
DO I NEED A WILL: You need a Will if you own property and want to determine who gets your property when you die.
CAN MY WILL DO MORE THEN DISPOSE OF MY PROPERTY: Yes. There are two other very important provisions you can include in your Will. One is the designation of a guardian or guardians for your minor children and disabled adult children if you are the surviving parent. The other is the creation of trusts.
WHAT IS A GUARDIAN: A Guardian is a person who oversees the welfare of a minor and in certain instances a disabled adult. A person for whom a Guardian is appointed is designated as the Ward. Welfare includes control over both the person and property (estate) of the Ward. A Guardian is under the control of a Court, usually a Probate Court.
WHAT IS A TRUST: A trust is an agreement so the legal title to property is held in the name of one person or company (Trustee) for the benefit of another person (Beneficiary). The Trustee can be granted greater power over the trust property than granted to a Guardian of an estate. The Trustee can operate without the approval of a Court. The estate Guardian must have approval of a Court as to how the ward's estate is managed. The Trustee does not need such approval. A Guardianship of a minor ward terminates when the ward reaches age 18, or marries or a Court removes the minority status. You can determinate when you want a trust you create to terminate.
Very careful consideration should be given in designating Guardians and Trustees. The persons designated as Guardians and Trustees must be someone who can and will provide the best possible care for your minor children. It is very important that you confer with the designated Guardians and Trustees to determine their ability and willingness to take on such responsibility. It is also recommended that alternate Guardians or Trustees be named in the event the primary Guardians or Trustees cannot or will not serve. The Guardians and Trustees can be different persons or the same people. Neither the Guardians nor Trustees need reside in the same state as the wards and beneficiaries.
INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATION: This keeps the Courts supervision of the Will probate court proceedings to a minimum and should reduce the cost of probating the Will.
Most Wills are what is defined as mutual Wills. Husbands and wives most often use mutual Wills to dispose of their property. Each spouse leaves his or her property to the surviving spouse and if there is no surviving spouse then the property is left to the children of the couple. If some of the children are minors, then the Will can establish a trust for the minor children's share of the estate and appoints a Guardian for the minors. The below questionnaire is keyed to the Simple Mutual Will as well as a Complex Mutual Will. Please pay close attention to the instructions. Should you have any questions, please call me at the above 800 number or send me your questions by facsimile transmission or email. There is an email comment section at the end of the questionnaire. There is no extra charge for these services.
In order to make any of the Documents presented at this web site legally binding, you must be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. There are exceptions to the age rule. If you are under 18 years of age, you should call me to discuss the situation. There is no extra charge for this service. Also every Document presented at this web site can be revoked by you at any time if you are of sound mind. There are a number of methods to revoke these Documents. A few are: (1) write revoke on the document and sign your name; (2) destroy the Document; or (3) prepare a new Document expressly revoking the existing Document.
SIGNATURE AND REVOCATION INSTRUCTIONS: Each Document I send to you will contain
complete instructions regarding the signing of the document and the different
methods to revoke the Document.
DIRECTIVE TO PHYSICIAN (LIVING WILL): This document directs the physician treating
you to give or withhold life-sustaining treatment in the event such physician
determines you are suffering from a terminal condition and you are expected
to die within six months. Your condition must be such that you are unable to
make such health decisions yourself. The document also direct the physician
treating you to give or withhold life-sustaining treatment in the event such
physician determines that you have an irreversible condition that prevents you
from taking care of yourself or making health decisions for yourself and your
are expected to die from such condition without life- sustaining treatment.
You make the decision in advance about life-sustaining treatment. Following
are abbreviated definitions of the terms used in the directive.
Terminal Condition is an incurable condition which will cause death within six months even with available life-sustaining treatment.
Irreversible Condition is a condition, injury, or illness, that (a) can be treated, but never cured, (b) that leaves you unable to care or make decisions for yourself, and (c) that, without life-sustaining treatment, is fatal.
Life-Sustaining Treatment is treatment that sustains your life, without which you will die. The term includes both life-sustaining medications and artificial life support such as mechanical breathing machines, kidney dialysis treatment, and artificial hydration and nutrition. The term DOES NOT include pain medication and any other medication and medical care provided to alleviate pain.
Revocation of the Directive can be done any time by you without regard to your mental state or competency.
Directive is Invalid during period of pregnancy.
DECLARATION REGARDING MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT: This document directs certain
mental health treatments that you will or will not accept.
Mental Health Treatment means electroconvulsive or other convulsive treatment, psychoactive medication or emergency mental health treatment. However, the Declaration declining mental health treatment can be changed by court order or by a physician if your condition has become sever resulting in an emergency. However, if you have declined the use of electroconvulsive treatment or other convulsive treatment then such treatment may not be given you under any circumstances.
Duration of the Declaration can be no longer than 3 years. The Declaration will continue in effect if at the date of expiration you are incompetent. The Declaration will continue in effect until you regain your competency.
LIMITATION OF THIS DIRECTIVE: This directive is limited to electroconvulsive and other convulsive treatment. These types of treatment are generally understood by most people. Decisions regarding the administration or withhold the administration of certain drugs should only be made in consultation with a physician. Additionally, preference for emergency mental health treatment should only be made in consultation with a physician.
Revocation of the Declaration can be done at any time provided you are competent.
MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY: This document appoints a person (attorney-in-fact)
to make medical decisions for you in the event your physician certifies in writing
that you are incompetent to make your own health care decisions. You can place
a limitation on the decision making authority of your medical attorney-in-fact.
However, this document grants full powers to your medical attorney-in-fact.
In any event the medical attorney-in-fact may not consent to the following:
(1) involuntary inpatient mental health services; (2) convulsive (electric shock)
treatments; (3) psychosurgery; (4) abortion; or (5) the omission of care primarily
intended for your comfort. Also your physician cannot give or withhold any treatment
if you object, even if you are incompetent.
Duration of the Power can be for definite period or unlimited. If the Power is for a definite period the Power will terminate at the end of such period unless you are incompetent and in that event the Power will remain in effect until you regain your competency. In the event a Guardian is appointed for your person, the Judge appointing the Guardian can revoke, suspend or continue the Medical Power of Attorney.
Revocation of the Medical Power of Attorney can be done at any time provided you are competent.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY: This document appoints a person (business attorney-in-
fact) to make decisions concerning your property in the event your physician
certifies in writing after the date of the Durable Power of Attorney that you
are mentally incompetent to manage your financial affairs. You can place a limitation
on the decision making authority of your business attorney-in-fact. However,
this document grants full powers to your business attorney-in-fact.
Duration of the Power can be for definite period or unlimited. If the Power is for a definite period the Power will terminate at the end of such period unless you are incompetent and in that event the Power will remain in effect until you regain your competency. In the event a Guardian is appointed for your estate, the Durable Power of Attorney terminates.
Revocation of the Durable Power of Attorney can be done at any time provided you are competent.
DESIGNATION OF A GUARDIAN: This document names the person you want to be the
Guardian of your person and estate if and when the need arises. It also permits
you to name the persons that you do not want to be the Guardian of your person
The Designation remains effective until revoke by you.