Estate planning is an essential exercise at any age, not only to craft your legacy but to make sure
your children are properly cared for, and that your own health care and financial affairs are
properly provided for in the event you become physically or mentally incapacitated, even
temporarily. At the Law Offices of Stephen R. Paul, we help individuals and families draft or revise
estate plans that meet their needs now and into the future, from simple wills and trusts to powers
of attorney and healthcare directives.
Wills and Trusts
With a will, individuals are able to dispose of their property according to their wishes, leaving a
lasting legacy to future generations. The will is also an appropriate document to name an
executor or administrator of the estate, and to appoint a guardian for any minor children. Even if
you are handling your property through trusts, a will is still essential to make certain all the
property of your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes.
In addition to drafting valid and enforceable wills, we assist in the creation of a variety of trusts,
from revocable living trusts to instruments designed for other purposes. Through a trust, you can
pass along property in a confidential manner and without going through the time and expense of
probate. We can advise you on the right combination of wills, trusts, and other available
instruments to best meet your needs.
Healthcare Directives and Powers of Attorney
An estate plan is incomplete if it does not address the important issue of your incapacity.
Through advance medical directives such as living wills, durable powers of attorney and other
related documents, you can make sure that your health care and financial decisions will be made
with your desires by someone you trust in the event you become unable to make these decisions
Careful planning can sometimes prevent the need for court proceedings in order to have a
guardianship imposed on an adult who has become incapacitated due to an accident, illness, or
age and can no longer look after one’s own personal care or financial affairs. When a
guardianship is appropriate, we assist family members in the process of obtaining an
appointment and helping to make sure their loved one receives the proper care and attention.
These legal documents are tailored to meet your needs to achieve your planning goals:
You can designate a trusted person to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to make
decisions due to a temporary or permanent incapacity. The document provides detailed
instructions about the agent’s authority.
You can designate a trusted person to make medical and residential decisions for you in the event
you cannot communicate or are incapacitated. You also designate a successor medical agent.
This document identifies who will inherit an individual’s assets (the beneficiaries) and who will
be responsible for distributing them to the beneficiaries (the personal representative/executor).
For young parents and couples, a Will can also be used to appoint a trustee to manage a child’s
money until he/she is old enough to handle it themselves.
A living will declares your wishes concerning the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of life-
prolonging procedures if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition where there is no medical
probability of recovery or cure.
A competent adult can appoint a PreNeed guardian for oneself or your minor child in the event
the adult becomes incapacitated or dies. The guardian can make medical and financial decisions
for the incapacitated adult or minor child.
This estate planning tool is used when appropriate for the management of your assets and
investments during your incapacity as well as to avoid the probate process.
This can be created within your Will or Trust to hold an inheritance so that a child or adult with
special needs does not lose their government benefits.