Massachusetts Wills and Trusts
What Can You Do With Wills and Trusts?
Nearly 60% of adults in America do not have a will, or any other estate planning documents in place. it is not because you don't love your family, or worry about their future. It is just hard to know where to start, and what kinds of decisions you might need to make. Below is a summary of the primary things our clients seek to address with their estate planning.
Make a Plan for Your Children
We know worst case scenarios are unlikely to happen, but it's our job to plan for them anyway. A simple estate plan can ensure that your minor children have guardians and funds in case something happens to both parents.
Even assuming no "worst case" tragedies, it is important to think about how assets are distributed to your children, and how to protect the legacy you intend to leave them in the event a surviving spouse remarries and starts a new family. If you add trusts to your estate plan, you can determine at what age your children are ready to receive an inheritance, and ensure that the remainder of your legacy, after taking care of your spouse, goes to your children.
Save Your Assets for Your Family
In Massachusetts, it is easier to find yourself owing estate tax than you might think. Even when you don't think you're rich. We can help you put a plan in place that saves as much of your hard-earned legacy as possible for your loved ones.
You should also know that if your family has to go through probate court to distribute your assets and finalize your state, the cost of that process can eat up 3-6% of the value of your estate. A comprehensive plan can keep much if not all of your legacy outside of probate court, making it easier for your family and preserving more of your legacy for their benefit.
Prepare for Assisted Living
If you or your spouse need long term care or assisted living, you can quickly wipe out all you have worked so hard to build to pay for it. And Medicaid/Mass Health will only step in to help if you have spent down virtually all of your assets. Though they won't make you sell your home to qualify for assistance, the state will put a lien on the property which it can execute when you and your spouse pass. This can leave the home without any value as a legacy for your children or other loved ones. We can help you create an asset protection trust to help you qualify for assistance and preserve assets.
Clarify Medical Decision-Making
Estate planning is not just about what happens when someone dies. Some of the critical documents address what happens if you are too sick to make decisions, whether temporary or long term. If that happens, you will want to have someone you trust empowered to make decisions for you. We can help with a health care proxy to make sure your doctors have clear guidance and your wishes are honored.
Take Care of Business
Your business and financial affairs matter as well if you are too sick to make decisions. This is especially critical if you own your own business, so that your customers, team and vendors have someone they can deal with in your absence. It can be very important within your family, as well, to make sure bills are paid and assets properly managed. We can help with a Power of Attorney to give someone you trust the legal right to take care of your financial and business decisions.
Keep Your Family Out of Probate Court
Without an estate plan, your family could spend a year or more in court (and money on lawyers) to settle your estate. If your family has to go through probate court to distribute your assets and finalize your state, the cost of that process can eat up 3-6% of the value of your estate. A comprehensive plan can keep much if not all of your legacy outside of probate court, making it easier for your family and preserving more of your legacy for their benefit.
Visit our Estate Planning Solutions page for more information.
How We Can Help
Whatever it looks like, however big or small, tangible or intangible, you have built a legacy. Whether it is a spouse, children, grandchildren, or other people you care about, you have loved ones whose lives will be improved by your careful stewardship of that legacy. We are ready to help. We have a simple process for getting you from wherever you are now to executed and final documents. It starts with an initial consultation, which is absolutely free. You can use the button below to schedule your consultation, or simply give us a call at 781-784-2322, or fill out our web form.