Frequently Asked Questions

When you decide to create or modify an estate plan, take on the administration of a probate or trust estate, or need to legally assist a minor or disabled person there are many problems that you will have to navigate.  At Bridge Estate Law, we help you navigate over those problems just like you are cruising over a safe beautiful bridge.

  • What assets am I leaving behind and who and how will they pass if I do nothing.
  • Who is the best person to carry out my wishes after I die.
  • Who will get my assets when I die,
  • What can I do to avoid having my assets go to someone I would not want them to such as the government, as ex-spouse or an estranged relative.
  • Should some of my assets go to a charity, pet, a friend, or descendant whose parents are still living
  • Will my assets go to a person that is not ready to receive them like a child or disabled person
  • Should an inheritance be protected in the event of divorce or other financial difficulty.
  • Should I make administration easier for my agents and beneficiaries.
  • Will my estate be taxable.
  • Do I have an asset that should be shared by my beneficiaries, such as a cottage.
  • Am I expecting an inheritance that I have a power of appointment for.
  • Do I want to leave clear instructions for when I die.
  • Is my estate planning leaving a good example for my loved ones.
  • Who is the best person to help me with financial matters if I am disabled?
  • Who is the best person to help me with medical matters if I am disabled?
  • How will my assets be used if I am disabled?

Trusts, Will, Pay on Death Beneficiary Designations, Joint Ownership, Incorporation, Powers of Attorney, Nuptial Agreements, Living Will.

A Will is instructions left with the intention of informing the Probate Court as to who is to administer a person’s estate and who the beneficiaries of the estate are to be.

A Trust is an agreement between a Settler and Trustee to manage property for a beneficiary.  Trusts are used for estate planning because they allow the Settler to manage property during their lifetime and then after they die.  If done property they allow a person to pass their property without needing a Probate Court’s assistance and can provide additional benefits to the Settler, Trustee and Beneficiary.

Absolutely not.  Everyone that wants some control over how they are treated in disability and death should have an estate plan.

Costs vary a fair amount.  It is wise to shop around to find a firm that provides quality services at a reasonable rate.  Bridge Estate Law offers services by flat rate and by the hour.  Our consultation is free.  Once a path is clear, our fees are discussed and there is no obligation until the client has decided to move forward with planning.

  • The person that will raise their children. 
  • The person that will manage their money while a minor. 
  • How will the money they inherit be spent on them when they are a minor. 
  • At what age your children will have access to the money that they inherit from you. 
  • If they don’t have unfettered access to their inheritance at age 18, how will that money be spent.

How to balance their obligations, if any, to their spouse and children. How to balance control over you and your assets during disability and after death.  What vehicles lend themselves best to your planning objectives.

Hopefully your loved one has a plan for their disability and their documents lay out clear instructions.  If not, the Probate Court has the authority to appoint a guardian and conservator to act on the loved one’s behalf.

If your loved one has a disability plan, Bridge Estate Law can assist the appointed agent(s) to carry of the loved one’s wishes.  If not, we can assist with petitioning the court for the appointment of a guardian and conservator.

  • Find out if and what arrangements have been made by the loved one.  They may have already purchased funeral services and a burial plot and have left instructions on the type of service they would like.
  • Find out if they left an Estate Plan with instructions on how they would like their estate matters to be handled.
  • Make a list of all family members and their contact information.
  • Make a list of their professional advisors such as their attorney, financial advisor and accountant with their contact information.
  • Get a death certificate from the funeral home or county.

Bridge Estate Law will help you get you over all of the legal issues that arise.

Cuts cost to transfer them in time and money can be a burden to the beneficiary.  Bridges are a great metaphor for Estate Planning because provide safe passage over many different kinds of hazards and can be tailored to the hazard they are crossing.  We are here to build you a bridge to the next generation that takes into account your unique hazards. Everyone leads by example, and we understand that your Estate Plan is one of the last examples you will leave for your heirs. It needs to be a beautiful example of a thoughtful plan beautifully executed.

There are two main contingencies that estate plans address.  They are disability and death.  When you do estate planning, you get to chose who will care for you when you are disabled and what powers they will have.  When you do estate planning you will get to choose who will receive your assets when you die, who will administer your estate, and whether beneficiary protections will be included.  If you don’t plan, your loved ones will be left guessing at your intentions and the probate court will decide who will take care of you and your estate.