The creation and administration of wills, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships and powers of attorney.

FAQ – We can help you with answers to your questions, including:

Probate

  • What is probate?
  • Why is probate necessary?
  • Does all property have to go through probate when a person dies?
  • Who is responsible for handling probate?
  • Should I plan to avoid probate?
  • When should I file a probate petition?
  • What are the different types of probate petitions?
  • What are the filing fees associated with filing a probate petition?
  • What documents do I need to support a probate petition?
  • What should I probate?
  • What is a will?
  • Who needs a will?
  • Why should I make a will?
  • What makes a will valid?
  • What are the requirements for a will?
  • Who can be a witness?
  • Can a will be changed?
  • Is joint tenancy a substitute for a will?
  • Can I appoint a guardian for my children in my will?
  • What is a personal representative?
  • Does the personal representative have to live in my state?
  • Can more than one person be named as a personal representative?
  • Do I need an attorney to serve as an executor?
  • What does an executor or administrator do?
  • Will I have to pay inheritance tax?
  • Who takes charge if there is no will?
  • Who gets the estate if there is no will?
  • How can a person contest a will?
  • What can I do if I think there is something wrong with the will?
  • What can I do if I think the will is unfair?
  • What if there isn’t enough money to pay for the funeral?
  • What if there isn’t enough money to pay the person’s debts?
  • Can I dispose of my property in any way I wish?
  • Should I leave a separate list disposing of personal property?
  • Must the will be read to the family?
  • Why must an estate go through court?
  • When should I make a will?
  • If a family member dies, how do I get their property transferred to the person who is entitled to receive it?

Estate

  • What is a qualified retirement plan?
  • Why are 401(k) plans so popular?
  • What is a Keogh plan?
  • What is a community property state and how does it affect estate planning?
  • What are some of the tax consequences of estate planning?
  • What are some of the fiduciary responsibilities owned by a trustee to the beneficiaries?
  • When does my healthcare directive take effect?
  • Who should I choose as a healthcare proxy?
  • What types of medical care should I consider when completing my healthcare documents?
  • What is the Elder Law and how does it affect me?
  • What are guardianships and conservatorships?
  • What is a living will?
  • What is the difference between power of attorney and power of appointment?
  • What is a trust?
  • Is it a hassle to own property in a trust?
  • Can a living trust reduce estate taxes?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a trust instead of a will?
  • If I have a living trust, do I still need a will?
  • Can I avoid estate taxes if I have a living trust?
  • What are estate taxes?
  • What is included in my estate for purposes of determining estate taxes?
  • How can I remove assets from my estate with being subject to estate or gift taxes?
  • What is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?
  • What is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust?
  • What is a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) and Grantor Retained Unitrust (GRUT)?
  • What is a Family Limited Partnership?
  • What is a Charitable Remainder Trust?
  • What is the Generation Skipping Transfer Tax (GST)?
  • What taxes will the beneficiary of my life insurance policy have to pay?
  • What’s the difference between an inheritance tax and an estate tax?
  • Who will get my property if I die without a will?

Resources & Forms

Estate Planning Questionnaire (PDF)
Spouse Questions (PDF)
Information for Survivors (PDF)

Getting Started

ACW Law has talented lawyers waiting to help you with your probate and estate planning issues. Please contact:

Craig Wittstruck
Tom Lamb