Wills and Estate Planning FAQs

Do I need a Will?

It depends on your situation; however, without a will, any person can petition the court to become the Personal Representative of your estate. The Personal Representative will be the person making decisions about how your estate (your property) will be administered to your heirs.

What is the benefit of having a Will?

If you have a will, you maintain control over who administers your estate, how you want your heirs to receive their inheritance, and other expenses that you want your estate to cover.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a document that outlines your end of life decisions, such as whether you want to have life support administer if you were to become terminally ill or in a coma, or whether you want a feeding tube.

What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?

A Health Care Power of Attorney is a document that identifies a person who will have the authority to make medical decision on your behalf if you are unable to communicate with your doctors.

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

A Financial Power of Attorney is a document that identifies a person that you have authorized to make financial decisions and control your assets under certain circumstances. This person can be different from your Health Care Power of Attorney, and is usually a family member, trusted friend, or financial institution.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process to carry out the instructions set forth in a person's will, and to transfer assets to the heirs. Whether an estate must go through probate is determined by the type of estate plan that you have, and how you own title to your property.