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Commonly Asked Questions

What is estate planning? Estate planning is the process of planning during your lifetime for the passage of your assets at death after payment of taxes and legal debts.

What is probate? Probate is the court procedure whereby your executor pays your final taxes and legal debts and passes your remaining assets to your beneficiaries pursuant to the terms of your estate planning documents.  However, part of estate planning typically involves probate avoidance.

What is a durable power of attorney? A durable power of attorney is a legal document appointing someone as your agent to make financial decisions on your behalf (e.g., paying bills, etc.).  A durable power of attorney can be structured to become operational upon execution or incapacity. 

What is a health care surrogate? A health care surrogate, or power of attorney for health care, appoints someone as your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you cannot.  

What is a living will? A living will is a legal document whereby you affirmatively declare your desire to withhold medical care if you are at the end-stages of life with no hope for recovery.  

Should I use Legal Zoom?  The practice of law is a service, not a product.  All stories are different.  Good ideas in theory may be bad ideas in reality. Legal Zoom cannot share personal and professional experiences to consider with respect to important estate and business planning decisions.  I always tell people that you go your entire life earning, amassing, making wealth; why would you want to short-change yourself at death and risk mistakes by doing things yourself.    



This is not intended to be legal advice, and it should not be treated as such. 

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