Wouldn’t you want to know that you are prepared for anything in today’s tumultuous world?
We know we would!
Why should planning for your death be any different?
There are many benefits to having a solid estate plan. Whether you are looking to protect your assets, minimize tax implications or just want to ensure that someone special receives a final gift, our firm can help you develop this plan.
The core document in any estate plan is the Last Will & Testament. Below are answers to some of the common questions that we receive.
The Cornerstone of Estate Planning: The Last Will & Testament
Most people do not want to consider their own mortality, but the reality of death is unavoidable. For this reason, it is important to put aside any fears or avoidance of death and instead face it head on. Our firm is here to compassionately guide and help you throughout this process!
So, where do you begin?
Let’s first take a look at the first basic Estate Planning document that all people should have, the cornerstone of any solid estate plan, the Last Will & Testament.
In this document, an individual is able to ensure that his/her property goes to the person that he/she wishes. It is the last form of control that the deceased will have over any remaining assets, and as such a comprehensive will needs to be carefully drafted to protect the remaining assets.
Not only does it need to be carefully drafted but also properly executed.
Why should I have a will?
Obviously the main advantage of a Last Will & Testament is to protect your estate and control where your estate goes upon your death.
Whether you want to ensure that your family is adequately protected or whether you want to ensure that your favorite charity is the beneficiary, this process all starts with a well-drafted, properly executed Last Will & Testament.
Not only will it control how your estate is distributed, but it also allows you to name the person who will be given the responsibility of ensuring that all guidelines are properly followed and that the distribution of the estate is appropriate.
So, what happens if I do not have a will at death?
If one dies without a will, under Massachusetts law the Commonwealth then decides how to distribute the estate. If this occurs, the law dictates that the estate will then be distributed to heirs of the deceased based on one’s blood relation to the deceased.
Even though for some this may be in line with their wishes, this is not the case for everyone.
How do I draft a will?
The drafting of a Last Will & Testament can be either a simple process or a complex process depending on the extent of the estate. It is important to have a clear understanding of the big picture including who the potential heirs are and what the estate looks like in its entirety.
At our firm, we take the time to sit and talk to each of our clients to ensure that we understand the big picture. We will go step by step to ensure that your estate is set to be distributed in the exact manner that you wish.
Additionally, if we believe that supplementary documents will be beneficial to better serve your wishes we will advise you on this as well.
For some, a trust may be appropriate and advantageous for many reasons. The main reason for the creation of trusts is to avoid the long, laborious and costly probate process but there are some other reasons why a trust may be beneficial.
One reason may be to try and structure the distribution of the estate in order to reduce the tax burden. Another reason may be so that you leave your estate with some flexibility so that the distribution of the trust can be adjusted accordingly.
Others may want to be creative with their estate and leave a trust ensuring the provision of care for a beloved family pet. There are numerous reasons why a trust may be a needed component to the overall estate plan. Every step of the way, our firm will be there to guide, advise and support you, making your comfort the top priority.
How is a will properly executed?
It is critical that all of the execution requirements be met to avoid anyone stating claim to any part of your estate. Without proper execution, others can argue that you were coerced into signing or that the document was simply not signed by you, rendering the entire document void. Any such arguments can easily be avoided by following the proper procedures.
To have a properly executed will in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one making a will must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. The Last Will & Testament, which must be in writing, must be either signed by the maker of the will or by a proxy at the direction of the creator. This signing must be witnessed by two witnesses who are not beneficiaries or parties to the will.
The last thing one wants to deal with during the grieving process is someone contesting the Last Will & Testament of the deceased. By contacting our firm, you can rest assured that your needs, wants and wishes will be taken care of you.
Many want to avoid thinking about death, but to most preparation will leave them feeling confident that their wishes will be carried out upon their demise. Don’t look at this as giving up control but instead look at it as taking control so that you can rest peacefully knowing that your loved ones are going to be taken care of and your property will be distributed exactly as you would like.
We want to reassure you that the drafting of a will is not as arduous as one would think. We hope to both enlighten you and relieve any fears or concerns that you may have. Remember, that life is precious and unfortunately, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so planning early gives you the peace of mind that you are protecting your remaining estate and legacy.
Contact Us Today
Do not risk giving up your control over the distribution of your assets upon death.
Instead, contact our firm today. We understand the sensitive nature of estate planning. As such, we will always remain respectful, understanding and compassionate of how delicate and personally emotional this issue is to most.
We will ensure that all of your wishes are represented in your Last Will & Testament and that your Last Will & Testament is properly executed.
Most importantly, we will ensure comfort and peace of mind for you and our loved ones.