Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts in MA

willWhat does Estate Planning cover, exactly?

This is a term that covers issues pertaining to transfer of wealth after death. Your “estate” is what you own or have rights to after you have deceased. Therefore estate planning covers the legal preparation for this eventuality and the tools we use to facilitate the transfer of wealth with things such as, but not limited to, Wills and Trusts.

What is the typical estate planning process?

Gather information about your assets and then meet with your attorney to determine how you want to devide your estate, and whom you want to designate to be in charge of seeing that your last wishes are followed.

In a will this person is the Personal Representative.  If you leave anything in Trust you have to pick the Trustee(s) and beneficiaries. Your attorney may want to work in conjunction with your accountant or financial planner on more complex estates.

This is also a good time to consider whether or not you want to prepare a Power of Attorney which lets your designated person step into your shoes as to all financial type of matters, or a Health Care Proxy, if you have strong feelings about what you want your loved ones to do if they have to make medical decisions for you regarding extraordinary medical measures such as: life support, feeding tubes, psychotic medications, long term medical care, etc., when you are no longer able to communicate your wishes to those around you.

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