Orrin Onken writes the twice-monthly TGB Elderlaw Attorney column in which he discusses legal issues of concern and interest to elders. He is an elderlaw attorney licensed to practice in the state of Oregon. He also keeps his own blog,…
In my last column, I attempted to demystify probate. If I succeeded at all, you no longer think of probate as something to fear.
In the comments to my probate post, people continued to wonder whether they should have a will or trust. I think people should be more concerned about having a plan.
Lawyers call it an estate plan for a reason. The plan comes first. The documents put the plan into action. In order to plan, we need to know about the three ways that property passes at death.
Many of the people commenting on my column about advance directives sought advice on whether to use a will or a trust for estate planning. This is a nightmare question for a lawyer because it does not lend itself to a one-size-fits-all answer and lawyers disagree among themselves about the choice.
Instead of wills vs trusts, I want to talk about probate today. What is it? How does it work and should you be trying to avoid it?
Orrin Onken writes the twice-monthly TGB Elderlaw Attorney column in which he discusses legal issues of concern and interest to elders:
As I make my way toward the grim reaper, there may come a time when I become so sick that I cannot communicate with those around me. My inability to communicate might be due to a temporary illness, but it is most likely to happen during the last days of life. When I can no longer communicate, I have an advance directive that will talk to family and care givers for me.
I would like you to meet someone today. In time, you will come to know him well but first, let me explain.
For many years – yes, years – I have tried to add an elderlaw attorney to the roster of Time Goes By contributors. You would be surprised how hard it is to find someone in that world who even knows what a blog is, let alone cares or wants to help elders understand the many legal questions that come up in old age.