How do I ensure my wishes are carried out when I die? How can I pass down my property in a fair and efficient manner? Who will care for my minor children if something happens to me? What happens to me (or my property) when I can no longer care for myself? Thinking about what's to come for you and your loved ones can be overwhelming.
The experienced probate and estate team at Bourque Clegg Causey & Morin can help reduce that anxiety and work with you to plan the future that you envision. We will prepare the documents necessary to carry out your estate plan. We will help you understand the probate process, and how you can coordinate the distribution of your property through a Will and certain “non-probate” transfers such as payable-on-death beneficiary designations. .
We also draft documents that your loved ones will need if you become incapacitated (meaning you can no longer make your own medical or financial decisions). We help clients prepare for these situations by executing an Advance Health Care Directive, which explains to doctors how you want to be treated. In many cases, a client wants to ensure that life is not needlessly prolonged if the client is suffering in a hopeless medical condition. Clients also want to designate an “agent” to make important decisions for medical treatment. Furthermore, clients need to ensure that family can take care of property or finances through a Durable Financial Power of Attorney. This simple documents can allow families manage property and finances without going to court to obtain a formal conservatorship. This can save a family thousands of dollars in legal fees and years of burdensome court proceedings and accountings.
Regardless of whether you are young or old, own a lot or a little, our attorneys are well suited to meet your needs.
Probate Law (Administering Estates, Litigating over Estates)
The death or incapacity of a loved one can be a very difficult time, and no one is given a guidebook for handling the challenging issues that you may encounter. The attorneys and paralegal staff at Bourque Clegg Causey & Morin have decades of experience with Probate matters. We help clients by filing petitions with the probate court. If the person had a will, we will ask the court to find the Will is valid and admit it to probate. If the person died without a Will, we ask the probate court to declare that the person died “intestate” and to identify the heirs who are entitled to the estate. We also help clients to become personal representatives (i.e., executors) of estates. Finally, we assist the personal representatives in administered the estates, paying claims and distributing assets to the proper beneficiaries.
Probate Law (Incapacitated Persons, Guardians and Conservators):
We also have experience litigating contested issues involving Wills or Guardianships. We also have experience litigating disputes over Wills (e.g., invalid language, invalid execution, holographic wills, lost wills, competency, undue influence). We have obtained accountings and recoveries for clients who were denied inheritances.
The probate courts also handle guardianships and conservatorships for incapacitated adults. We have assisted clients to become guardians / conservators for family members who can no longer make decision on their own. We also handle competing claims between family members who seek to be appointed to these roles.