A paralegal is a person, qualified through education, training or work experience to prepare legal documents.
National Paralegal Services is not a law firm, does not act as your attorney, and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney. We do not provide any legal advice, and none of the information provided herein or on any completed document should be construed as legal advice.
The court process by which a Will is proved valid or invalid. The legal process wherein the estate of a decedent is administered. When a person dies, his or her estate must go through probate, which is a process overseen by a probate court. If the decedent leaves a will directing how his or her property should be distributed after death, the probate court must determine if it should be admitted to probate and given legal effect. If the decedent dies intestate—without leaving a Will—the court appoints a Personal Representative to distribute the decedent's property according to the laws of Descent and Distribution. These laws direct the distribution of assets based on hereditary succession. (source: legal dictionary)
A document in which a person specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of their estate after death. A Will is the legal instrument that permits a person, the testator, to make decisions on how their estate will be managed and distributed after their death. (source: legal dictionary)
Sometimes called an "inter vivos" (Latin for "within one's life") trust, a trust created by a declaration of trust executed by the trustor or trustors (also called settlor or settlors) during his/her/their lifetime, as distinguished from a "testamentary trust" which is created by a Will and only comes into force upon the death of the person who wrote the Will. A Living Trust should not be confused with a "living will" which provides for medical care decisions when a person is terminally ill. While a Living Trust is a generic name for any trust which comes into existence during the lifetime of the person or persons creating the trust, most commonly it is a trust in which the trustor(s) or settlor(s) receive benefit(s) from the profits of the trust during their lifetimes, followed by a distribution upon the death of the last trustor (settlor) to die, or the trust continues on for the benefit of others (such as the next generation) with profits distributed to them. There are other types of living trusts including Irrevocable Trust, Insurance Trust, Charitable Remainder Trust and some specialized trusts to manage some parts of the assets of a person or persons. (source: legal dictionary)
A health care directive is a document in which you appoint someone, an Agent, to make health care decisions for you, if, and when, you become incapacitated. A power of attorney gives your Agent or Attorney in Fact the power to handle your finances.
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