Billings Estate Planning Attorneys
Obtaining Peace of Mind for Clients Throughout Montana
Nobody is eager to think about the end of their life, but planning for the inevitable is an important part of caring for your loved ones. Proactive and strategic estate planning can avoid a great deal of hassle and hardship once you are gone. A comprehensive estate plan will also prepare for incapacity and protect you in situations where you become unable to communicate.
Our Billings estate planning lawyers have years of experience and can provide the knowledgeable guidance you deserve. At Dietrich & Associates, P.C., we will work to understand your goals and recommend the tools that can work to achieve them. No matter your personal or financial circumstances, our team is committed to creating the best possible plan that will give you robust protection and peace of mind.
Creating an Enforceable Estate Plan in Montana
Building an estate plan is not as simple as writing down your final wishes on a piece of paper. State laws are very specific about what can and cannot be included in estate planning documents. There are specific rules about who can and cannot serve as a personal representative, trustee, or health surrogate. Additionally, there are certain limitations to who can witness the signing of a will, trust, or power of attorney document. Our team at Dietrich & Associates, P.C. is familiar with all of the laws governing estate planning in Montana.
Our Billings estate planning attorneys can assist you with:
- General estate planning questions. Whether you are brand new to estate planning or need assistance modifying existing documents, we can walk you through what options are available and how we can help.
- Preparing wills. Your last will and testament is a foundational document that every adult should have. In your will, you decide who will receive your property, who will care for your minor children, and who will act as your executor once you pass away. It is possible to create a will without the assistance of a lawyer, but doing so is highly inadvisable. A DIY will may not be enforceable if it is not correctly validated.
- Creating trusts. A trust can be used to more flexibly and efficiently distribute assets and avoid much of the probate process. Trust documents can be customized to suit your specific needs but must be carefully prepared. Our team can determine whether a trust is right for you and help you take the steps to establish one.
- Making advance funeral arrangements. Planning for end-of-life formalities and setting aside funds can make your passing easier for your grieving loved ones.
- Resolving custody issues. It may become necessary to appoint a guardian and/or conservator to care for someone who is unable to communicate or adequately care for themselves. We can guide you through the court process of obtaining a conservatorship and/or guardianship for your loved one.
- Navigating probate. Estates must go through some level of probate, the court-supervised process for settling debts and distributing assets once someone dies. Estate planning can help you minimize the consequences of probate, and we can tailor your plan to avoid as much as possible. Our team can also assist executors with each stage of estate administration.
- Assigning financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney. A power of attorney (POA) document allows you to name a trusted agent to act on your behalf within a scope of authority that you define. A financial POA names an agent to handle financial affairs, such as managing property, signing contracts, or paying bills. A medical POA advocates for you in health care settings. We can draft the necessary documents and ensure they are consistent with your wishes.
Updating Your Estate Plan in Montana
Your estate plan should reflect your current wishes, and your preferences will likely change over time. It is a good idea to look over your estate plan every few years, no matter what (if anything) happens. If you experience a major life event – such as a marriage, a new child, or a substantial change in financial circumstances – you should immediately take the time to update your estate plan. Our Billings estate planning lawyers can help you review and make any necessary changes to your documents.
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“Mr. Dietrich is an expert in the law and understands people.” - WS
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“Overall the finest lawyer I have ever felt with.” - Evelyn M.
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“I have such confidence in him that I have referred family, friends, and business associates.” - Former Client
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