Did you know that if you don’t create an estate plan, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will simply make one for you? Of course, the government is not interested in minimizing taxes or protecting the interests of you and your loved ones. The fact is, every family should have an estate plan of its own—and have it created by an attorney who focuses on estate planning and closely related practice areas.
Your specific needs depend on many factors, particularly where you are in life’s journey. Young families with children should name guardians and establish trusts. If you were to pass away without an estate plan in place, your surviving spouse could have problems accessing money or other assets, and a court proceeding known as guardianship might be required for your children. This can be avoided through proper estate planning.
Older couples face different issues, like protecting retirement assets, planning for the possibility of incapacity, and ensuring hard-earned assets will pass to the people they want, when they want, in the manner they want. Many married couples are stunned to discover that without an estate plan, assets can be frozen because one spouse cannot sign legal documents or access funds held by the other spouse, resulting in costly, time consuming court proceedings.
For single, widowed or divorced individuals, estate planning is perhaps even more important. Why? If you were to become incapacitated, or when you pass away, a family member would probably petition the court for control over your estate. Unfortunately, he or she might not be the person you would have chosen.
I offer a complete range of estate planning services to meet your particular needs, including:
- Traditional estate planning, such as wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives
- Advanced estate planning, such as irrevocable life insurance trusts, gift programs, dynasty trusts, generation-skipping trusts, and advanced tax planning
- Probate and trust administration
- Guardianships and Conservatorships
To learn more about estate planning, feel free to click on Frequently Asked Questions. Or better yet, meet with me – an Arlington MA Estate Planning Attorney – in person to talk about your unique situation and how I can assist you.