Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

Our purpose is to write a Will (or Trust) for every adult member of our community.  If you have a good lawyer call them.  If not, we invite you to visit or call us so that you can take writing a Will off your list of things to do.   We charge reasonable prices.  We also perform this simple task in a fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.  If you cannot afford our prices, we’ll arrange a reduced price or if appropriate do it for free.  So sorry, no more excuses.

WILLS

Most folks Wills are simple.  There are two main components:  (1) a list of the beneficiaries and what assets they are to receive; and (2) the name(s) of an executor(s) whose job it will be to carry out the terms of your Will.  We charge $50 for this type Will.  If married (or with a companion doing a similar document) we charge an additional $25 for the spouse or companion’s Will.  It is $5 additional to notarize each Will.

Our process is simple.  You schedule an appointment with Rich (Attorney Reilly) to have your questions answered and so that we can collect the information necessary to prepare your Will.  The appointment is usually less than an hour.  Within a week of your appointment you will receive (in the mail or by PDF) a draft copy of your Will to review in the comfort of your home.  Next you call us and inform us of any changes/corrections and schedule a time to come back to sign your Will.  Since the signing appointment takes only 10 minutes you can park for free on Philadelphia Street (in the loading zone) next to our building.  You sign your documents and we make a copy for our records.  Only then do we accept payment as you leave with your fully executed original Will.  As you walk out our door you will ask yourself why didn’t you do this simple thing earlier.

TRUSTS

The vast majority of Trusts that we do are “testamentary trusts” which are trusts inside of Wills.  The most common example of this type trust is for parents who have minor children.  These Trusts spring into effect if necessary and provide structure (in a flexible way) to the funds your child will need over a period of years.  The trust provides for the children’s needs while young.  It provides for their post secondary education.  It intelligently transfers the balance incrementally to your children through early adulthood.  More importantly, however, these documents set forth (in the event both parents pass) your choice of Guardian of your children and your choice of Trustee of your children’s funds.  We charge $75 for this type of Will.  If you are married we charge an additional $25 for your spouse (or companion’s) Will.   Another common variety of this type document is Special Needs Trusts.

Some clients request the preparation of Revocable (Living) Trusts into which they presently place some, most, or all of their assets.  These types of Trusts are most useful for clients who desire continuity of ownership, professional management of assets or own real estate in multiple jurisdictions.  For tax saving purposes some clients create Irrevocable Trusts.

Powers of Attorney (POA)

Married folk whose assets are jointly held can rely on their spouse to make financial or medical decisions for them if they cannot.  However, if you have assets in your individual name, if you are single, widowed or divorced, or if you are older, in poor health or travel a lot, you should seriously consider preparing a power of attorney.  Doing so will allow a trusted family member or friend to make medical and/or financial decisions for you if you cannot.  These documents can be limited in duration or scope.  They also can last until your last day and allow someone vast powers to make (if you cannot) all of your medical and financial decisions.  Limited or General, Durable or Temporary, we charge $30 for a single POA or $50 for a couple’s POAs.

Living Wills / Advanced Health Care Declarations

If you have strong feelings about end of life medical treatment and/or quality of life issues you may want a Living Will.  Essentially a Living Will (properly known as an Advanced Health Care Declaration) is your statement, while well and healthy, of how you would like to be treated in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes and are in a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness.  Some say the purpose of this document is to prevent a hospital or doctor from prolonging what otherwise would be the natural death of a loved one.  By default a spouse has the right to make this decision for you, if they cannot your adult children can, and if none then your parent(s) have the right to decide this on your behalf.  My experience teaches that the primary purpose of a Living Will is to relieve family members from making a tough decision that they could later second guess or regret.  Talk to your family, friends and doctor about this issue and if you decide you would like a Living Will we charge $30 per individual or $50 for couples to prepare them.