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Wills / Trusts / Estates / Probate FAQ
  1. What is a will?
    A will is a valid document that speaks to the distribution of your estate after you die.

  2. Do I need a will?
    If you have young children, assets that are more than $200,000.00, are divorced or remarried you probably need a will.

  3. What if I don’t have a will?
    Dying without a will means that you die intestate. If you die intestate, your estate will be divided up equally between your survivors.

  4. What if I want to avoid probate all together?
    The only way to avoid probate all together is to own all of your assets, jointly. If you have children under the age of 18 probate is necessary.

  5. Is a will the same as a living will?
    No. A living will, also known as a durable power of attorney for health care is a document that allows your representative to make health care decisions for you if you are incapable of making them yourself.

  6. Do I need a living will?
    Probably. If you do not have a living will and you are in a hospital setting, the hospital will do all they can to keep you alive. This means that you cold be hooked up to machines that will keep you alive, even though there is no way you will ever recover. Most people want to have a say in when to cease the extraordinary efforts. A living will does that.

  7. My parent is having difficulty making decisions and is becoming a danger to themselves, what can I do?
    After speaking to a skilled attorney, you may want to consider a Guardianship Petition.

  8. What is that?
    If your parent’s doctor agrees that your parent is unable to care for themselves, you can petition the Probate Court to appoint a Guardian to provide for the care and welfare of your parent.

  9. Is a Guardianship only available for parents?
    No. One can petition a guardianship for any person who is unable to care for themselves.

  10. How can I dispose of my assets so that Medicare can’t take what I have spent years earning?
    That is a complicated question. The only sure way of defeating Medicare is to divest yourself of all your assets. It takes a skilled attorney to set up a plan that will accomplish your goals.

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  • East Providence Office
    989 Waterman Avenue
    East Providence, Rhode Island 02914
    Phone: 401-437-3000
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