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What is Estate Planning & Administration Law?

Estate Planning encompasses the documents that enable people to direct their personal and financial affairs in anticipation of the process of illness, aging and dying. Estate Administration encompasses the legal processes by which a person's assets are distributed after death, either pursuant to a Will (Probate) or pursuant to the state laws of inheritance (Administration). 

Estate Planning lawyers help you to decide and create legal documents to do the following:

  • Living Trusts: to protect and/or distribute certain property and assets while you are alive;
  • Wills and Trusts: to protect, administer and distribute your assets after you die;
  • Powers of Attorney: to protect, administer and/or distribute your property and assets should you become incapacitated. The person you name can make all decisions should you become incapacitated, and has the ability to access and use your assets for your benefit.
  • Living Wills and Health Care Proxies: to make health care decisions if you are unable to communicate with your doctor, including whether to stop or continue treatment when you are seriously and permanently incapacitated.

A comprehensive estate plan includes documents covering all the items in the above list.

Estate Planning includes several areas of law that you might hear referred to as:

  • Elder Law
  • The law of Wills
  • The law of Trusts


Estate Administration begins the moment a person dies and proceeds whether a person has engaged in Estate Planning or not. It encompasses the process by which assets are collected and distributed. Estate Administration can last from several months to several years, depending on the complexity of the estate, the ability of your Executor or Administrator to locate your assets and your family, and whether there are any disputes, such as a will contest.

Estate Administration includes the following:

  • Official Recording of Death:
  • Preservation of Assets:
  • Probate:
  • Administration:

What can an estate planning lawyer and administration lawyer do for me?

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