Wills and Trusts

Documenting your wishes in a will or trust is one of the most important deeds in your life. Preparing a “Last Will and Testament” is an age-old tradition. In today’s world of complicated laws and constant changes in our lives, wills and living trusts protect the living heirs. This is one important area of an estate plan that should not be a “do-it-yourself” endeavor. Wills and trusts are legal documents which should be prepared only by a qualified estate planning attorney.

While a will is signed, witnessed and notarized, it is revocable and can be altered at any time during one’s lifetime. A living trust administers an estate for someone’s lifetime and after their death; also naming a successor upon one’s death without court intervention. Planning for a living trust will avoid probate and the expense and inconvenience of the distribution of an estate by a court. It also prevents your private financial matters from becoming public record. A trust can also prevent action from creditors with regard to personal and family assets that may be at risk through a professional liability or claims from family members or others with whom you do not wish to share those assets.

Preparing a will or trust without the advice of an estate planning attorney has the potential for mistakes that can end up costing the parties involved far more than the perceived savings in legal fees. Life changes with marriage, divorce, birth and death. Assets come and go and tax laws change. The Law Offices of Patricia M. Scoles helps you begin anew or update your existing wills and trusts.