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Rhode Island Estate Planning

Estate planning doesn't just deal with death. It can also help give you more control over legal, financial and medical matters while you're alive. Unfortunately, many adults in Rhode Island ignore making these plans until it's too late. Talk to an estate planning attorney today to learn how you can benefit from some simple estate planning tools.

Common Estate Planning Tools

By far, the last will and testament is the best known estate planning document. Your last will is used to explain how your estate should be distributed after your death. It is also used to name an executor to manage your estate after you die, and to name a guardian for your minor children, if you have any. In Rhode Island, you must be at least 18 years old and "of sound mind" (meaning you know what you're doing and are acting rationally) to create a will.

Other commonly used estate planning tools include:

  • A trust, which is an alternate way of distributing your assets after you die. A trust, which can be used in place of or in addition to a will, allows you to give assets to your heirs outside of the probate system. Because trusts bypass probate, your heirs may receive assets more quickly. It also affords you and your heirs more privacy than if you used a last will and testament.
  • A financial power of attorney (POA) lets you authorize a person (known as an attorney in fact) to perform certain legal and financial tasks in your name. POAs can be very narrow in scope or fairly broad. You can give someone unlimited power, or only give them power to perform one task on one day, or only grant them powers if you're incapacitated. The attorney-in-fact's powers cease upon your death.
  • A healthcare power of attorney lets you empower someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you're incapacitated and unable to communicate.
  • A living will is used to explain your end-of-life treatment and medical decisions, including whether and how much pain medicine you'd like to receive, and if you'd like to be put on life support.

Find & Hire Local Rhode Island Estate Planning Attorneys

Do you need help locating estate planning lawyers and probate attorneys in your area? can help you! Complete the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222 to use our free lawyer referral service. We'll ask you a few basic questions, then match you with a local lawyer.