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By Jonathan Bechtel
Founding Partner

Probate Courts are set up with the goal of handling matters involving life decisions and choices, usually when someone is involved who does not have the ability to make decisions for him or herself. This can happen when someone is incapacitated, sick, has died or is a minor or has special needs.

In those situations, as well as others, the Probate Court can preside over decisions already made in advance, or can put into play a decision maker. Types of matters that the Probate Court presides over involve conservatorships, decedent’s estates, guardianships to name a few. 

We at Stanfield Bechtel Law can assist you to put into place the right documents, which would reflect decisions you can make about yourself, should you become incapacitated or for use when you pass to help your loved ones navigate and effect your wishes. Some of the ways we can help are indicated below.  

How we can help with Estate and Care Planning:

Estate planning is hard. No one likes to confront this important task that helps your loved ones when you are very ill or have passed. We approach this work with dignity and grace to help people make important decisions and take care of drafting these documents that take care of you and your loved ones. In addition to help with the drafting, we can also help out with the probating of your estate or the representation of you in probate court, as well as in situations of guardianship, conservatorship or decedent’s estates.

Last Will and Testament

This expresses your final wishes. We can help prepare your last will to express your wishes and carry out how you want your estate handled and how you want your loved ones taken care of. There are certain criteria for drafting a will and for having it executed and we make sure that your will complies with the law.

We also gather your information so that all of your asset and other important information are in one place to assist your executor who will take care of the probating of your estate. We also offer services to be your executor or work with your executor to carry out your wishes.

Health Care Directives

This can include a living will, advanced directives, expressing and conveying your wishes if you are unable to communicate what medical care and lifesaving methods you would like. We can help with appointment of a healthcare agent who will make decisions with yours in mind, as well as direction of an anatomical gift if you so desire.

Appointment of Conservator

We can draft this appointment so that if you become incapable during life and require a conservator, or if someone requests that you be appointed a conservator, voluntarily or involuntarily, you will get to have a say in who that person to take care of your personal wishes and your finances will be.

Power of Attorney

This is a document you can use to give someone powers to do things for you and take care of various finances and transactions during your lifetime. It is revocable and if you have given a power of attorney you wish to revoke, we can help you with a revocation of power of attorney. Both of these documents must be completed and certain specifications met according to law.  

Unfortunately, as these life and death issues are being sorted out, disputes can arise.  This area of law is called probate litigation. At Stanfield Bechtel Law, we have experience in probate litigation, whether it has to occur at the Probate Court or in the Superior Court.  We can help you navigate issues you are having at the Probate Court, litigate these issues when necessary and assist you through your stressful situation.  These types of matters can involve one more more of the following:

  • Conservatorships
  • Decedent’s Estates
  • Will or Trust interpretation and Will contests
  • Undue Influence Issues
  • Contested claims and accountings
  • Surviving Spouse Claims
  • Claims against a Fiduciary and removal Proccedings
  • Appeals to the Superior Court
  • Probate mediation

Contact an Attorney Today

If you find you are in need of assistance in your own estate and care planning, or in navigating disputes that have arisen at a Probate Court, please call us and we can schedule a consultation.

About the Author
Jonathan believes the client should always come first, and aims to deliver a positive experience to exceed client expectations.