Wills and Probate


Is a will right for you? Do you need a will? My office can provide a free and informative initial consultation to discuss your concerns. For more information please read Why You Should Have a Will prepared by the Estate and Probate Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Health Care Directives
What are Advance Health Care Directives?

Directives are personal contingency plans: they are guidance on how medical choices are to be made in the event of decisional or communicative incapacity.

Depending on statutory expressions, directives are cast in one of two ways - as treatment instructions, or as delegations of authority to consent to treatments. With one particular exception, they are completely revocable - at least up to the point where a patient becomes incapable of communicating revocation.

Appointment of Health Care Agent and Attorney-in-Fact for Health Care Decisions

This document permits a patient to delegate any or all decisions to an agent (including both routine and end-of-life treatments) regarding her or his own health care. The individual so designated is authorized to confer with attending physicians and to render informed treatment consents in the patient's stead. The agent is called upon to act on the uncomprehending patient's behalf and to make decisions consistent with what the patient would have wanted.

Living Will

Living wills provide a useful backup role to the Appointment of Health Care Agent and Attorney-in-Fact for Health Care Decisions. Euphemistically, the living will is widely perceived by lay persons as a "pull the plug" document. This is not necessarily so. It is, more correctly, a "death with dignity" directive.

Through a living will, an individual instructs attending physicians to withhold death-delaying procedures and to provide only comfort care in the event of a terminal condition.

A Living will also serves as a fallback in the event an agent named in a health care proxy has predeceased, declines to serve, or is unavailable.

Durable Power of Attorney

Strictly speaking these are not advance health care directives at all. However, carefully drawn instructions for the management of property and finances in the event of decisional or communicative incapacity are integral to a holistic contingency plan.

Mortuary Planning Sheet

An expression of your preferences and desires regarding the disposition of your remains and other arrangements at the time of death. The completion of this document makes things easier for your family and friends by making your thoughts known.

Selecting an Agent

The careful selection of an agent (and successor agents) is absolutely essential to the effectiveness of these documents. Obviously, a highly trustworthy agent well known to you is necessary for the effective discharge of property duties in the event of your decisional or communicative incapacity. Similarly, a concerned, loving, and courageous individual is to be chosen as agent under the durable health care power, as the agent may be called upon to make life-and-death health care decisions.


What is Probate? When is it necessary that an estate be opened? These and many other questions can be answered by my office with a free and informative initial consultation to discuss your concerns or problems. For more information please read The Probate Court and You prepared by The Probate Courts of Connecticut, Probate Court Administrator.  

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