Legal and Wills

Probating a Will


Perhaps one of the most important tasks you now face is the disposition of a loved one's estate. Whether or not the deceased had a will can make a greater difference in the time and effort involved in the proper disposition. It is suggested that you obtain legal advice on the array of different matters such as the disbursement or conversion of assets, changing of property deeds and titles, the disposition of bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and the disposition of business assets.

If you do not have an attorney, now is a good time to find one. The best methods of finding an attorney are through friends and relatives, or by calling your local bar association.

If your loved one had a will, it will need to be probated. Probate is the legal procedure for the orderly distribution of estates. In most cases, probating a will is a simple process. Only in the instances where the will is being contested or the deceased had numerous holdings will the action be more complex. There is usually a specific time within which a will must be probated, so it is important to check carefully.

If there is no will, the estate will be disposed of according to the state laws governing descent and distribution. Preparation and or review of your own will are also an important consideration at this time. It is the best way to assure that your estate is handled according to your desires.

Living Will Information

Today there are more issues than ever before regarding "death with dignity" or "the right to die." Advances in medical and scientific techniques have found ways to keep people alive by way of machines. As a result, more and more people are concerned with issues regarding the "quality of life."

On June 25, 1990, the Supreme Court rules in the Nancy Cruzan case that Americans do have the constitutional "right to die," and indicated that a Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney may be the best way to protect that right.

Issues concerning measures to sustain life and the quality of life are very personal, and it is recommended that you discuss these issues with your family. Today most states have Living Will statutes, specifying documents, which anyone can copy, and sign according to state law. You may obtain additional information in regard to your state, or about this issue, by contacting:

Choice In Dying
200 Varick Street
New York, New York
Phone Number: 1-800-989-WILL