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Wills, Trusts and Estates

It is difficult to think about one’s own death, and therefore many clients delay getting Wills and other estate planning documents in place. It can be challenging to decide what to do about arrangements for children and distribution of one’s remaining assets after death. We make the process as smooth and manageable as possible, and focus on our clients’ goals and concerns. Each person’s estate plan needs to be uniquely tailored to their needs.


It is critically important to know the rules that apply if someone has not signed a Will. Very often, the default rules do not meet our clients’ needs, and we assist them in preparing a Will so that their wishes are carried out and their families are protected. In particular, domestic partners and parents with minor children need to plan carefully to ensure that the tragedy of a death is not compounded by hardship for the survivors through poor planning. When necessary, we provide referrals for advanced estate planning.

Other important estate planning documents include

Health Care Proxy: Designation of a trusted relative, partner, or friend to carry out a client’s health care wishes if they are unable to make their own decisions.

Living Will: Detailed description of a client’s wishes about terminal health care.

Durable Power of Attorney: Designation of a trusted person or institution to manage a client’s financial and administrative affairs during the child’s lifetime without the need for the appointment of a guardian.

Disposition of Remains form: Description of a client’s wishes for disposition of their body after death and designation of the person who will be in charge of making the arrangements.

Married couples also need to sign these documents because spouses do not automatically have the right to make health care decisions for their incapacitated spouse or manage their spouse’s financial affairs.

Guardianship: In instances where a client is concerned about a relative, partner, or friend who cannot manage their own affairs because of memory loss, other illness, or injury, we assist clients in applying for appointment as a guardian. In some cases, Mariette is appointed by the court to represent the interests of alleged incapacitated persons or to act as the court evaluator, to who makes recommendations to the court.

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