The Porro Law Group offers service to clients in the area of the drafting Last Will and Testaments, Living Wills, Medical Powers of Attorney and General Durable Powers of Attorney.
An estate plan allows you to create a definitive plan for how your estate is passed on to your loved ones or designated charities. The plan preserves and distributes your assets upon your demise. Pre-death planning allows one to preserve assets, both during one’s lifetime and upon death.
The Porro Law Group offers services to clients in the area of the drafting of Last Will and Testaments, Designation of a Funeral Agent, Living Wills, Medical Powers of Attorney and General Durable Powers of Attorney.
Each matter receives personal attention and is handled directly by Janet L. Porro, Esq. or Kristen M. Porro, Esq. Time is taken to determine the unique needs and desires of each individual client. Realizing that matters of this nature are often emotional and difficult, your case will be handled by a firm which is sensitive and caring. We take the time to listen.
Following death, in matters where a Last Will and Testament exists, The Porro Law Group will assist the family through the Probate process, step by step, as well as in the preparation and filing of the Inheritance Tax Return and ultimate distribution of assets in accordance with the decedent’s wishes as expressed in their Last Will and Testament. If no Will exists, and the decedent died “intestate”, The Porro Law Group will assist with the appointment of an Administrator for the Estate, as well as the Inheritance Tax Return Filing and ultimate distribution of the Estate.
While it is important to discuss your desires for burial with family and friends, unless a “Funeral Agent” is appointed, there is absolutely no way to guarantee that the burial requests you desire will be followed. For example, if you wish to be cremated, the only way to insure that your directives are followed is through the appointment of a Funeral Agent. Absent such, all family members must “sign off” before a Funeral Home can proceed with the cremation. Where disputes arise, it is necessary to seek immediate court intervention which serves to escalate funeral costs and unfortunately places family members in an adversarial position during an already emotional time.
The following text is being provided for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Each case must be analyzed individually to determine applicable law.
What documents do I need to ensure that my wishes will be carried out if I become ill or if I am deceased?
Often times individuals choose to put off the drafting of a Last Will and Testament. Frequently the comment is passed "well I don't have all that much"... or "I just don't want to think about it".
Absent a Last Will and Testament which clearly outlines your desires and intentions as to assets and guardianship issues, the State, by way of statutes, will make those determinations for you. That heirloom from Aunt Millie may not be passed down to your daughter as you would have desired. Those accounts which you built up over the years may be depleted in a matter of weeks by individuals who are entitled to such under the statute but for whom you have otherwise established trust for. Monies which you would have preferred to bequeath to family members may now be expended on counsel fees as individuals fight over your estate and the distribution thereof.
A Last Will and Testament will assure that the assets which you acquired over your lifetime will be passed down in a manner which you desire, to individuals whom you specifically name. Trusts can be established for certain individuals and for specific purposes, once again guaranteeing that the money which you have worked so hard to acquire will be there for the necessities of your loved ones.
Those who have children should be amongst the first to have a Will drafted. Such will assure that their children will be raised by an individual whom they have personally selected, one who shares their morals, beliefs and philosophy on child rearing. Alternative guardians should be named in the event the first guardian selected is unable or unwilling to care for the children.
Certain criteria exist to ensure that a Last Will and Testament will be upheld, hence it is importantly that it is drafted by legal counsel who is versed in this area of the law.
What about medical determinations which must be made before death? Who will authorize the emergency surgery if an individual is not able to do so due to their medical condition? Who will make the determination as to whether to sustain life support?
A Medical Power of Attorney is a document utilized to designate which individual will make decisions affecting one's medical treatment, if the individual in question is unable to make that determination themselves (such as if they are unconscious). This is particularly important for individuals who are not married or do not have close family members. Such differs from a Living Will or Medical Directive, which specifically represents that the individual does not wish to be sustained on life support and directs the termination of any such measures. Each Living Will, however, can and should be specifically tailored to meet the individual's desires.
Another document available to assist individuals in handling matters, particularly in the event of illness or incapacity, is a General Durable Power of Attorney which designates to another party the authority to make certain financial decisions, including the signing of checks, and other financial documents. Certain precautions must be taken in drafting these documents. This authority should not be given lightly.