Estate Planning & Probate

Do you want to make sure that your family is taken care of after your death? Do you need help making sure that a loved one’s last wishes are followed? Or do you know an elder who needs help with medicaid asset protection planning?

When you have an estate plan, you have control of your life’s work. You get to decide who will receive your assets and how much they will receive, whether that is your spouse, children, friends, or a cause you care about. If you have children, your estate plan will designate someone to be responsible for their care and upbringing if you pass away before they become adults. An estate plan can also help you avoid unnecessary taxes, allowing you to leave more to your loved ones. Without an estate plan, Alaska courts will make these decisions for you based on state law. This might not be what you would have wanted for your family.

When you’ve been assigned the responsibility of taking care of a loved one’s estate, there are a number of duties that you are given. The estate will typically go through probate, the legal process of distributing an estate. During probate, you are required to identify your loved one’s assets and debts, distribute their assets, and pay their debts according to Alaska state law. Sometimes, a loved one will have left a will giving you instructions that outline how they would like their assets distributed. Other times, however, you may not have any guidance from your loved one. Some assets will go through probate, while others, like a life insurance policy with a beneficiary, will not. Probate can be lengthy process, from at least six months to a year.

Because of its complexities and requirements, probate can seem confusing and frustrating. At Law Office of Jennifer Messick, I’ll help you navigate the process from beginning to end. I understand that this can be a difficult time for you, and I will give you the help you need to make the process simple and follow the last wishes of your loved one.

Whether you want to create an estate plan protecting your family or need legal guidance to probate an estate, I would be glad to help you. I am committed to giving the best service in a cost-effective manner. I believe that communication is important and will make me available to answer your questions throughout the process. I serve clients in Anchorage and am available by appointment in Palmer and Wasilla.  Contact me any time or request an appointment.