Estate Planning Attorney in Washington, D.C.
Assisting Families in Need of Estate Planning in Maryland & the District of Columbia
Whether you are looking to set forth funeral arrangements, minimize estate tax liability, dictate life-prolonging medical care, or simply update and revise your will, having your estate in order is of utmost importance. Washington, D.C. estate planning lawyer Michelle Lanchester helps families throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. No matter your net worth, health, or family situation, Michelle will create a customized estate plan that works for you and your family.
What Is Estate Planning & What Does it Include?
Before you begin the estate planning process, it is important to know what tools are available to you and what the differences between them are.
What Is a Will? Do I Need a Will?
A will is a legal document that gives instructions on how you would like your property distributed after your death. If you do not have a will, the law will determine who gets your property after you die. Our law firm will walk you through how to prepare a will, revise it, or update it. We can also explain what happens if a will is contested so we can think through various scenarios.
What Is a Trust?
A trust is a flexible asset management tool containing your written directives that determine how your beneficiaries will receive your assets during your lifetime and after your death. There are many different types of trusts, such as special needs trusts, living trusts, charitable trusts, and irrevocable life insurance trusts. A trust is a private document that does not go through probate and is not subject to probate fees. We can walk you through setting up a trust.
A "Final Wishes Instruction" is a document that deals with what happens to your physical body after you die, including specific desires for your funeral, burial, or cremation.
Power of Attorney for Health Care
A power of attorney for health care is a crucial advance directive. It allows you to appoint someone you trust to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable. When you set up power of attorney, it allows you to ensure that you have some control over your future medical decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.
A living will is also an advance directive. Unlike a power of attorney for health care, it does not name someone to make decisions. Instead, it clearly states your desires regarding crucial healthcare decisions regarding life support matters.
HIPAA authorizations allow your personal agent (the person you designate) to gain access to your medical information. Without HIPAA authorization, your agent will not be able to access your medical information, and your doctors may refuse to speak with your agent about your medical matters.
Financial Power of Attorney
Financial power of attorney is a written authorization whereby you appoint a trusted agent to act on your behalf regarding property, business, and financial matters if you become incapacitated.
If you are ready to plan your estate, do not wait until faced with a crisis, and do not put your future in the hands of inexperienced estate planning lawyers.
Contact our Washington, D.C. estate planning attorney for the personalized, quality care you deserve.