Estate  Planning

Estate planning involves executing three documents: a will, a power of attorney and an advance medical directive. 


Everyone needs a will. First, a will decides who will inherit your things. These can be valuable like a house or car. They could also simply have sentimental value like family photos or furniture. 

Second, a will decides who will be your personal representative, the one who is tasked with administering your estate. This includes filing your last income tax return, distributing your things and filing the paperwork with the Register of Wills.

Third, a will designates who will be the guardian of your minor children if you pass away and their other parent has already passed away. This can be crucial in preventing family conflict if there are disagreements about who should care for the children in the tragic event that you pass away while they are still minors.

Power of Attorney

Everyone needs a power of attorney. This is a document that allows someone else to make decisions about your finances while you are still alive. This can be crucial because there may be a time when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. It is also extremely important that you choose someone that you trust because this document authorizes them to take money from your bank account and sell your house.

You can have this document give the power immediately or have it conditioned on some future event such as your incapacity. It can be advantageous to have it effective immediately because then the person can act when they need to, instead of spending precious time trying to prove that you are unable to make these decisions yourself. 

When you are picking someone to have this power over your finances, do your best to pick someone who is trustworthy and who manages their own finances well.

Advance Medical Directive

Everyone needs an advance medical directive. This document decides who will make your medical decisions when you can't make them for yourself and states your preferences for end-of-life care. While it is uncomfortable to think about, this can save your family from conflict. If you were unable to make your medical decisions and your family doesn't agree on what you would want, it is greatly helpful if you have already written down what you would want and given the final decision-making power to someone. Even if you don't have strong feelings about end-of-life care, it's helpful to write that down.

If you qualify, we can help you draft these documents for free.

If you qualify, we will try to match you with a volunteer attorney to help you for free.

We do clinics in the Baltimore region to help eligible clients with wills and deeds.