Now that the handling of my father's estate, after his death in November, is coming to an end, I would like to thank you for the outstanding job you did in helping me. I am amazed how quickly everything was settled.
Your council and immediate response to issues and concerns have helped to get things done smoothly and efficiently. The professionalism of you and your staff was greatly appreciated. I highly recommend you to anyone needing help in wills, trusts, and estate planning, as well as in the guardianship and administrative capacity of a loved one’s estate.
I'm sure you will agree that serving as guardian of my mother's finances, and of her person, has proven interesting and a challenge, given some of the unique circumstances we've all encountered. Throughout the past 18 months, you and your staff have handled matters admirably. Not only was the whole experience handled in a professional and efficient manner, but you and your staff, worked with mother, and all of us, as friends and not just clients. This made the whole experience much more comfortable and tolerable. My husband and I greatly appreciate all that you and your staff have done for us, and look forward to working with you as you continue to serve as guardian of mother's person, and interact with us, and the bank trust office, to assure that mother remains safe and well-attended throughout the remainder of her days.
As we become older it often becomes more troublesome to handle our financial affairs in a smooth and efficient manner. An effective method to address this concern is to delegate to those whom we trust the responsibility of handling our financial affairs.
A power of attorney is a document which is signed before two (2) witnesses and a notary public which authorizes another person, or persons, to perform the acts which are set forth in the document.
A properly drawn power of attorney document can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees when compared to a guardianship proceeding. Whereas a court guardianship proceeding requires ongoing court costs, bond premiums, and attorney fees, a power of attorney document can be prepared for a nominal fee which is less than one-half of the initial guardianship filing fee!
If you feel that you or an elderly loved one would benefit today, or in the foreseeable future, to have this document drafted for “a rainy day,” it may be important to consult with your attorney to insure that your desires are properly set forth in the correct form
If you own real estate, you should be aware of the types of deeds that are available to you which may save substantial time and expense to your loved ones upon your death.
A joint and survivorship deed conveys title to two (2) or more people so that when one or more of the new owners die, the property is transferred to the surviving owner(s) without the need for estate administration for the deceased owner(s). Typically, this deed is used between a husband and wife when the real estate is owned by one spouse and the property is to be conveyed to the surviving spouse upon the death of the first spouse.
A transfer on death designation affidavit conveys real estate to the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) upon the death of the owner of the real estate. The beneficiary has no present interest in the real estate until the death of the owner. The owner is free to change the beneficiaries on the affidavit, and the creditors or spouses of the beneficiaries have no interest in the real estate until the death of the owner.
Other deeds that are often prepared by Attorney Tully are warranty deeds, deeds transferring real estate to a trust, and quit-claim deeds.
Consultation and a thorough understanding of your needs and goals with a knowledgeable attorney is required before you take the important step of executing a new deed and filing it with the county recorder’s office.
If those closest to you are unable to make appropriate decisions with respect to their health care, lifestyle, or finances, it may be necessary to file the appropriate documents with the court to appoint a guardian to act on their behalf.
When a guardian is appointed by the court, the guardian will make decisions regarding your loved one’s medical, living, and finances because your loved one no longer has ability to manage his or her affairs.
In an adult guardianship scenario, the guardian may have to deal with an aged parent or a relative who is afflicted with dementia or Alzheimer's disease and has no insight into their illness.
In a minor guardianship scenario, the guardian may receive funds on behalf of a minor when a parent dies without a will, or a guardian may represent the interest of a minor who is entitled to receive money from a personal injury settlement.
When a guardian is appointed, the court requires that the guardian comply with strict filing requirements, and the guardian must account for all income that comes into their possession, and all disbursements expended on behalf of the disabled person or minor child.
Attorney Tully will assist you in complying with the guardianship law in an effective and sensitive manner.
The Trustee is the person (or corporation, such as a bank) who manages the trust assets in accordance with the provisions of the trust document.
The basic duties of the Trustee involve the correct management and investment of the trust assets, along with the accumulation and distribution of the income and principal of the trust assets.
The Trustee is also responsible for the filing of the appropriate tax returns for the trust.
The Trustee has a strict duty to administer the trust solely in the best interests of the trust beneficiaries and to treat the beneficiaries fairly and impartially. If a Trustee fails to act in this manner, he may be liable to the beneficiaries for any loss they sustain as a result of the Trustee’s negligent management of the trust assets.
Although the Trustee may not delegate his duties and responsibilities to others, the Trustee is permitted to hire attorneys, accountants, investment advisors, or agents to consult with regarding the administration of the trust, and he may pay for these services from the assets of the trust.
If you are named as a Trustee (or you are a trust beneficiary), Attorney Tully can assist you relative to your duties and responsibilities as Trustee, or with respect to your right and entitlement to your share of the trust assets as a trust beneficiary.
A health care power of attorney (or durable power of attorney for health care) is a legal document that authorizes one or more persons to make health care decisions for you if there comes a point in time when you are unable to do so. For example, if you are unconscious as a result of an automobile accident, or you suffer a heart attack or a stroke, this document would specify whom you have selected to make decisions for you as to your treatment and medical care.
This document only becomes effective when you cannot communicate your medical decisions. You can also remove the persons named in your health care power of attorney and select new agents you want to make your health care decisions.