Wills and Estate Planning
Deciding how to handle assets and healthcare issues for individuals facing death or disability is a sensitive subject. A family often struggles with intense grief at the loss of a loved one. Thus it is important that people plan and consider the protection of their assets and personal healthcare choices if the need should arise.
Retaining an experienced estate planning lawyer can put a Delaware resident’s mind at rest. Simply knowing that a healthcare directive, a will, and other estate matters are not left for family members in their time of grief.
Understanding Estate Planning in Delaware
A sizable majority of individuals in the United States do not have a will when they die. In Delaware, basic estate planning often consists of drafting a last will and testament, the designation of a power of attorney, and the creation of an Advance Healthcare Directive. A professional estate planning lawyer in Delaware can help an individual with these important issues and also assist the person with the following:
- Controlling the individual’s assets during his or her lifetime
- Learning how to avoid probate matters
- Becoming knowledgeable about ways to protect assets from creditors for a spouse or children receiving those assets after the individual’s death
- Receiving sound advice on other important legal matters
Drafting a Will
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about estate planning is the last will and testament. The first step for all individuals planning their estate is drafting their last will and testament. Your will is important regardless of the value of assets accumulated or the age and health of the person.
It is important to take the time and consideration needed to create a will so that an individual’s family is explicitly aware of the wishes of the deceased. This document can clear up any misunderstandings that a family may have regarding the final wishes of the person, as well as determine the distribution of specific assets.
We advise anyone in Delaware interested in preparing a will to consult with an estate planning lawyer. They ensure the document is prepared correctly. Typically, the will requires a minimum of two people to witness and sign it. Valid witnesses should be individuals who do not have a direct interest in the document.
Protecting Your Assets and Avoiding Family Disputes
Drafting a will assures you that your wishes will be respected after your passing, which offers you peace of mind. For many Delaware residents, the most important reason for creating a will is protecting assets and providing for loved ones.
Another important factor is making sure your wishes are clear in order to avoid family conflict, misunderstandings or strife.
Professional Wills and Estate Planning
At the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay, our estate planning attorneys have assisted many people, in a full range of circumstances, with the drafting of sound wills that make their intentions clear, straightforward and legally enforceable. Our experience includes serving the needs of:
- Married couples and individuals looking to provide for the futures of their young children
- Older people who have health concerns or whose financial or life circumstances have changed, creating a need for revisions to their will, trusts, health care directives or other existing estate documents
- Individuals and families across the economic spectrum with a full range of unique estate planning needs
Drafting Wills That Account for All Contingencies
When it comes to estate planning, experience counts. Our attorneys will assist you with all aspects of drafting your will and other important estate planning documents. In addition, we offer the care, client service and personal attention you need to achieve your goals.
The last thing you want is for your survivors to fight amongst themselves, spending time and money in court arguing over the terms of your will and the nature of your last intentions. We ensure that your will expresses clear intentions. As your estate planning attorneys, we also guard against the possibility that anyone challenges or contests your will.
Whether you need a basic will and power of attorney or you have more complex needs such as the creation of a trust, please do not hesitate to contact the Delaware estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Murray, Phillips & Gay located in Georgetown, Seaford, and Milford, Delaware. We care about your specific needs and work hard to deliver the best available solutions with maximum cost-effectiveness for you.
Estate Planning is about Love
Estate planning is an act of love that will give those you love the peace of mind for a lifetime. You make plans about things that your family doesn’t want to have to decide – things related to death and dying. I’m not trying to be morbid, but rather, realistic. There is nothing worse than seeing a family struggle with making decisions, or worse yet, fighting over decisions because you didn’t tell them what your wishes were.
Estate planning is much more than death planning. It is also living planning. A power of attorney puts someone in charge of your legal and financial affairs when you are incapable of making your own decisions and an Advance Healthcare Directive or living will, is a document that designates who you want to make medical decisions for you when you can’t make your own.
Considering an Advance Healthcare Directive
Something typically handled at the same time as the will is the Advance Healthcare Directive. An Advance Healthcare Directive, commonly known as a living will, formally establishes a person who you authorize to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make these decisions yourself.
This designated individual can assist others in knowing your wishes regarding prolonging your life in case of a terminal condition which may have no hope of recovery, the use of breathing machines, and other important matters regarding your healthcare. An estate planning lawyer in Delaware can explain the importance of having an Advance Healthcare Directive established before poor health makes the directive a necessity.
Using the services of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in Delaware helps an individual make important decisions about end-of-life healthcare and asset protection. The attorney can use his or her experience with the laws of Delaware to ensure that your legal documents will reflect your specific directives. Preparing these documents early is crucial because it makes your intentions known, allowing your family to feel certain that they are carrying out your wishes properly and in a respectful manner.
Learn more about creating an advanced healthcare directive.
Life Happens Unexpectedly. Be prepared.
Many people don’t have an advanced health care directive or will because they don’t want to think about death or dying – and that is totally understandable. There are also people that think they can put off stating their wishes until some other day. But here’s the deal – life doesn’t work that way.
Accidents happen every day and sometimes there is no warning. Don’t leave your loved ones guessing. Put your wishes into writing. We will be glad to sit down with you and create this document so that you know your loved ones will know what to do.
If you need to start your estate planning or update what your existing will, we would like to meet with you in person to discuss your options. To schedule a consultation at our Georgetown office, please call 302-855-9300 or fill out the contact form on this site. We serve all of Kent and Sussex County Delaware. For Milford, please call 302-422-9300. For Seaford, please call 302-628-9300.