The estate planning lawyers at O’Brien, Barton & Hopkins have over twenty-five years of practice helping families organize their affairs. We have worked for clients with a variety of needs, ranging from young families who require only simple planning to those with sophisticated asset structures who require tax and other more complicated planning.

The process is simple and starts with filling out the questionnaire available through the link below. The financial information from the questionnaire assists the attorney in the determination of the estate planning strategies best suited for the individual client. The questionnaires are reviewed prior to or during the attorney consultation to allow the attorney to present an initial set of questions and recommendations at the first meeting.

The terms below may assist in understanding the estate planning process.

Community Property Agreement:

A declaration that all property owned by a married couple is jointly owned by each other, alleviating the need of probating the estate of the first spouse to die.

Durable Power of Attorney:

The document that gives someone else full legal authority to make economic and/or medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacity due to accident or illness, alleviating the need of a guardianship.

Directive To Physician/Living Will:

In the event of a terminal illness or injury, this document serves as your instructions to your doctor regarding artificial means of sustaining your life or discontinuing the artificial support systems.

Estate & Gift Tax:

A tax assessed against the net assets of an estate, which must be paid by the administrator or executor from the estate’s assets.

Living Trust:

Your property is placed in the living trust while you are still alive. Upon death, your property automatically goes to your heirs without going through probate court.


The legal process in which a court oversees the distribution of property left in a will.


Property given to a trustee to manage for the benefit of a third person. Generally the beneficiary gets interest and dividends on the trust assets for a set number of years; an agreement under which one person transfers title to specific property to another who agrees to hold or manage it for the benefit of a third person.


The legal document that dictates how your property will be divided upon your death. It may also designate trustees/guardians for your children.
Click here to fill out the Estate Planning Questionnaire.