Probate and Estate Planning

Our firm offers the following services:

Probate and Trust Administration: Litigation associated with an estate. Be it a contested will, a fiduciary conflict of interest, trust mismanagement, removing an estate representative. If you are in court on a probate matter, we can help.

Guardianship: When a person cannot take care of himself or herself, someone must be named to care for that person. Sometimes a person is not being cared for properly. Sometimes the person’s assets are being mismanaged. Sometimes a guardian must be removed. If you have a question regarding the care of your loved one, do not hesitate to call us.

Estate Planning: Last will and testament is a document that assigns or bequeaths your possessions to the people that you want. You may want to leave your possessions to someone other than your family or to a charity, in a manner that is not necessarily how the law proposes, you can do this with the help of a will. A Durable Power of Attorney is a document that names a person or persons to act on your behalf, if you are put in a position where you cannot decide for yourself. Health Care Surrogate or Proxy, and living wills encompass medical decisions and directives that doctors and hospitals must follow when you are in their care. It could be naming someone to make decisions for you, to decide treatment or to talk to medical personnel. In many cases, due to privacy laws (HIPA), the hospital will not be able to listen to your relative or loved one when it comes to your care, and they might have to go to court to decide if there is a controversy involving your health. In order to avoid these situations, we recommend that you take the time now, when you are healthy, to decide who you want making your decisions for you, the hospital or your loved ones.

Do you need to draft a Will or a Trust that is valid in Puerto Rico? Do you need a Durable Power of Attorney that follows Puerto Rican law requirements? Our Puerto Rico lawyers can help you.

Why do you need to have a Will? What are the benefits of estate planning? Estate planning encompasses many things. Among them are drafting a will or a trust, leaving a health care directive or a living will, and trust administration. There are many reasons to plan for a time where you will no longer be with your loved ones.

There can be many reasons why people try to avoid estate planning. Either because they think they do not need to do it, or they think they are too young to have to worry about it, or that it is too expensive. All of these are reasonable concerns. But the fact of the matter is, if you want to leave your things in order when you are no longer here and make things easier for your loved ones during that difficult time, having a Will is essential to plan for the future. We have seen many cases where families struggle with an estate administration case, going to court, filing documents, and going through the complex process of probating the estate, while at the same time grieving the loss of their loved one. All of this can be avoided with some planning. It is difficult to even consider a time where you won’t be with your family and loved ones, but when it happens, having a Will is of great benefit to you and them. Estate planning provides peace of mind to everyone.

The costs of estate planning vary greatly, depending on the complexity of the estate and the complexity of the different instruments used for the estate. A simple estate plan can be very economical, especially if you consider how expensive a probate administration case can be. Once the person dies intestate, or without a will, a process of administration must take place. That involves costly attorneys fees, administration costs, court costs and other fees. In contrast, if you plan ahead of time, you can save on these costs and avoid a prolonged court case for your loved ones. In many cases, people can entirely avoid going to court by just doing some simple planning.

Many situations can affect your financial future and that of your loved ones. These include guardianship, estate taxes, disability and probate. By planning ahead you can:

  • Protect your assets from probate costs, administration costs, extra taxes, nursing home expenses, and so forth.

  • Make sure that the person that you elect to care for you will be the one actually caring for you and that he or she will have the tools necessary to carry out your instructions.

  • Ensure that your decisions will be respected by doctors, medical institutions, the court, and others that might be involved in your care.

  • Make sure that you know exactly who will get your assets and how your possessions will be distributed. That way you know that your loved ones will know your instructions clearly, without a doubt.