Estate Planning


Estate Planning is the process by which people develop plans that ensure the assets they have worked hard to accumulate are protected and distributed to those they choose. Estate planning is about the future of their families or loved ones.

The attorneys at Novins, York & Jacobus have helped people plan their estates for more than 75 years. Our goal is to help people make and implement plans that carry out their wishes regarding their families and their property. In so doing, we provide peace of mind and the comfort of knowing their assets will be preserved for the next generation.

Basic Estate Planning Documents

There are 7 basic documents that are considered important:

  1. Last Will & Testament
  2. Power of Attorney
  3. Medical Power of Attorney
  4. Health Care Directive
  5. Designation of Guardian
  6. Burial Instructions
  7. Designation of Agent for Disposition of Remains

Composing a last will & testament helps to ensure that you control how your estate is divided. An estate that is not covered by a will is called “intestate”, and your belongings will pass according to state law, not according to your wishes.

A financial power of attorney is a written document that allows someone else to handle your financial. It can be “springing”, meaning it only becomes effective on your incapacity, or it can be “durable”, meaning it becomes immediately effective. A durable medical power of attorney designates a person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

A Health Care Directive sets out circumstances where you do not wish for extraordinary measures to be taken to prolong your life.

A designation of guardian sets out your wishes on who you want, and absolutely do not want, to serve as your Guardian in the event one becomes necessary.

The form for burial instructions is used to convey your final wishes for disposition of your remains.

The designation of agent for disposition of remains authorizes one person to make all of the funeral and burial decisions after your death.

Depending upon the size and complexity of the estate and a client’s personal situation (former marriage, step-children, etc.), additional estate planning may be necessary. Arrangements may include some of the following:

  • Trust
  • Family Limited Partnership
  • Buy-Sell Agreement
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust