Estate Planning & Probate

Here at the Law Office of Peter C. Edwards LLC, we perform and draft simple estate plans as well as more complicated plans to avoid estate tax on estates in excess of $1,000,000.00. It is essential for everyone to have even the simplest plan in place such as a will, a beneficiary deed to transfer real estate upon death, or a trust. We advise all clients to put a plan in place that will avoid the time and expense of probate court.

We also handle the probate of wills, and establish Guardianships/Conservatorships for minors and elderly people that have lost the capacity to handle their affairs.

A will is a document that informs the court and your family about the intentions you have about your estate. It is a necessary tool for any person to utilize. Far too many families fail to understand the importance of a will. If you do not draft a will, the court will decide your intentions for you. Protect your decisions at a reasonable cost, by contacting Peter C. Edwards.

Too many people lack the necessary motivation to draft a will. A will is important, especially for young families. A will memorializes your intentions in writing. It can direct the court about the distribution of your assets, beneficiaries, guardians for your children, funeral arrangements, and healthcare decisions. Attorney Peter C. Edwards will draft an appropriate will given your estate goals.

Legal Documents We Can Prepare

•    Wills: These documents are instructions to the court about the distribution of your estate property at the time of your death.
•    Trusts
•    Ancillary documents: We will draft other documents related to the protection of your estate.
•    Durable Power of Attorney (for non-health issues): These documents grant a person power to make important financial decisions for you after your incapacitation or death.
•    Durable Power of Attorney of Healthcare: To appoint someone to make decisions about your healthcare when you are unable to do so, consider creating a durable power of attorney.
•    Living Wills (medical directives): These documents, define what types of medical treatment you wish to receive, and how long you would like to prolong your life.
•    Determining a guardian for children: Choose whom you want to care for your minor children after your death by naming a guardian in a will.

Probate and Estate Administration

Probate and estate administration does not have to be an intimidating and confusing process. When this process is handled by an experienced attorney, your family does not have to worry about what to do. Take the burden off settling the estate of a deceased family member at a reasonable cost by contacting Peter C. Edwards.

What is probate or estate administration?
Probate settles the estate of a deceased individual. This process generally takes anywhere between four to twelve months. Whether or not there was a will, probate is the process of settling the affairs of an estate before distributing property to the beneficiaries.

•    Probate with a Will: If a person dies with a will, probate serves to certify the validity of a will.
•    Probate without a Will: When a person dies without a will (intestate), the court must distribute the property of the will in accordance with statute.

Estate Administration
Peter C. Edwards will ensure that an estate is administered properly. Estate administration refers to the process of settling the estate of a deceased person. It is necessary when a person dies with or without a will.

Steps of estate administration include:
•    Conducting an inventory of all the estate property
•    Notifying any creditor of the estate
•    Paying off any estate debt
•    Notifying any beneficiary of the estate
•    Distributing the estate property in accordance of the will or statute

We also represent people during probate litigation such as a will contest. Common issues litigated around an estate include duress, fraud, undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty, and overreaching.