Estate Planning is the legal planning process during someone’s lifetime used to determine what happens to their total assets when they pass on. It determines to whom their assets will transfer, and the the terms and conditions and timing of such transfer while retaining the maximum value for the recipient or heir. Thus Estate Planning includes tax planning, asset protection, money management issues, divorce and creditor issues and in some cases special needs planning for heirs with disabilities and if the client is a business owner, Business Succession Planning as well. Estate planning utilizes documents to implement the Estate Plan. These may include; Durable Powers of Attorney, Buy-Sell Agreements, Wills, Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Income-Only Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, and beneficiary designation forms among others
We do preparations of Wills, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, Trusts, and Elder Care matters. Our office also does Guardianships and Conservatorships.
We provide full probate services including:
DRAFTING OF WILLS: It is important to have a will and with the uncertainties of live it is better to have on earlier rather than later. Persons who die without a will will have their property distributed according to the Massachusetts state “intestacy” laws. This law gives your property to your closest relatives. It begins with your spouse and children if married. In the case where there is no spouse or children, your grandchildren or your parents will receive your property. Withoutany of hte aforementioned, the state seeks out other relatives, including siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and your spouse’s relatives. If the court exhausts this list to find that you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, the state will take your property.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY: Probate is slow and expensive. You can avoid this lenthy process with the use of a “durable Power of Attorney”. A durable power of attorney is inexpensive and easy to execute. It have many benefits; your wishes are clearly defined and carried out exactly as you specify. You decided who will make your decisions for you and can become effective immediately upon your disability to make your own decisions and you can control the amount of authority you delagate.
HEALTH CARE PROXY: When you create a health care proxy you name a health care agent. A health care agent is someone you designate to speak for you regarding your health care if you are determined that you are not able to make or to communicate your own decisions about your health care. It names an agent who can speak for you regarding any important health care decisions including especially the overall goals of care and why you may or may not want certain treatment.
TRUSTS: A trust is simply a legal device that allow for easy management and transfer of assets. Upon your death, any assets in a trust will pass to the designated heirs quickly and easily avoiding probate. Creating a trust will provide you with peace of mind in life and perhaps more important, a trust will make things much easier for your survivors. Assets transferred to living trusts prior to death are controlled by the trust agreement.