Surrogate Maureen T. Raisch is eager to share information with community groups on topics related to the functions of her office. Contact her at 732-431-7330, ext. 7331, or email if you would like to arrange for her to speak at no charge to a meeting of your organization. Possible topics are:

The Many Costs of Not Having a Will - or Having a Will that can't be Probated

This talk covers the role of the Surrogate’s Office (when you need us and when you don’t); the most important reasons why you should have a will; the expensive and upsetting problems that can arise when you don’t; the essential elements of a valid will; what to do (and not do) with your will once you have it; and problems with your will that may interfere with probating it.

Probate Problems of the Rich and Famous

Leona Helmsley, Pablo Picasso, Marlon Brando, and Howard Hughes have something in common besides having been rich and famous. The feuds and problems surrounding their estates offer lessons for everyone in how to avoid family battles over who gets what.  Discussed will be those who died without wills, those who wrote their own wills, those who picked the wrong people to handle their affairs, and other mistakes that all their money and professional advisers didn’t help them to avoid.

Important Things You Should Know About Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Directives and Wills

These three documents are essential for everyone to have in order to be adequately prepared for the future. The first two are intended to deal with situations that may require important decisions to be made for you when you’re not able to make them yourself; the third can provide for an orderly distribution of your assets upon your death.  Each document is best done with a full understanding of its legal requirements and the individual choices that it offers.

Guardianships, Conservatorships, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

Each of these legal documents or court-appointed arrangements transfers authority to make certain personal, financial, or medical decisions for someone who can no longer handle their own affairs.  What does each of these legal arrangements involve, which can someone set up voluntarily, and which require a third person to initiate a request in Superior Court?

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