Wills and Estates
Hattiesburg Wills and Estate Planning Lawyers
Decisions about your will and other issues related to your final years can be emotional and difficult to think about, but taking the right legal steps now can protect you and your family in the future. At Perry W. Phillips, PLLC, Attorneys at Law, our experienced lawyers assist clients throughout the Hattiesburg are with wills, estate plans, probate administration, conservatorship, will contests and related issues. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our three convenient Hattiesburg-area offices.
Drafting Your Will and Estate Planning Documents
A will is the most basic estate-planning document available. Your will sets forth how your property should be divided after you die, and it appoints an executor to carry out those wishes. If you have minor children, your will should also contain a conservatorship clause appointing a guardian for your minor children. Another important document in any comprehensive estate plan is a power of attorney – this document allows you to grant someone to make important medical and financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
If you do not leave a will, a judge who is unfamiliar with your family’s unique workings will make these important decisions according to the state law of Mississippi. We can help you make sure your wishes are heard and followed.
Dealing With Issues of Adult Incapacity
Unfortunately, due to accident or illness, adults sometimes lose the capacity to care for themselves. To protect yourself from exploitation and make sure your wishes are fulfilled, we can help you execute a general power of attorney — giving a trusted person control over your financial affairs if you become incapacitated — as well as a medical power attorney and living will (also known as a health care directive).
If your loved one is unable to competently make decisions for himself and has not signed a power of attorney, we can help you bring a conservatorship action (also known as guardianship) in court in order to establish your authority to protect them from harm.
Guiding Executors and Estate Administrators
If a loved one has died and you have been named as the executor of his or her will, or if a family member has died without a will, we can help you carry out your responsibilities under Mississippi probate law and close out the estate.
When there is a will, the named executor is responsible for notifying beneficiaries, selling and distributing property and taking other actions on behalf of the estate. If there is no will, the court appoints an administrator to take on these duties, and it is necessary to make a legal determination of the heirs of the deceased.