The Estate Planning Process: Wills, Trusts, and Probate

A complete estate plan usually includes a will, one or more trusts, a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, and other necessary legal tools.

Personal Representative – Role and Duties

The probate process can be cumbersome and demanding. Accordingly, an estate planning custom involves a testator naming a personal representative, or co-personal representatives, to responsibly administer his estate at death. The role is commonly held by a close family member or friend. For complex estates it may be best to appoint an attorney or institution, […]

Useful Estate Planning Terminology

The estate planning process can be difficult to grasp. To make matters worse, an attorney may use many foreign terms when discussing an estate plan with a client. The following terms and phrases, while commonplace for estate planning lawyers, should be understood by anyone involved in or considering the estate planning process: Parties: Testator– living […]


A will is typically the most “central” document within any estate plan; its primary function is to dispose of an individual’s probate property at death. Wills certainly have other purposes, though, including: -Appoint a guardian(s) for the decedent’s minor children -Appoint a personal representative to administer and facilitate the estate (and potentially the probate process), […]