Estate planning is more than planning for your passing, it’s planning for your family’s future.
I help clients protect their financial and valuable interests during life, and develop with them a customized estate plan designed to ensure cost-effective asset transfers and further the financial protection of loved ones after death.
A comprehensive estate plan should be undertaken by all adults. Without an estate plan, unfortunate consequences can arise, including:
· If you become disabled without a Medical and Financial Power of Attorney expressing your care, or funeral wishes, your family may need to seek court-ordered guardianship or conservatorship, which can be expensive, intrusive, and delaying.
· If you are experiencing an end-of-life event and cannot communicate your care wishes, your loved ones will be faced with difficult decisions about the type of care that should be provided, and whether you want medical personnel to do everything possible to extend your life. Living wills/advance directives can be used to make clear your wishes to family and medical personnel.
· If you do not have a will and/or trust, the laws of Massachusetts will dictate to whom your assets are distributed. Some of your loved ones may be left out of your estate, and the person administering your estate will have no right to distribute specific items of sentimental value to the person or persons to whom you would have liked to receive those items.
· Without an estate plan, bitter feelings and fights sometimes occur between the loved ones left behind, which unfortunately can involve litigation and the depletion of an estate from unnecessary legal fees. No one wants their asset distributions to give rise to estate contests and ruined relationships.
The best estate plans are those that accomplish the objectives of a person in the simplest, least complicated (and least costly) way possible.
For example, not everyone needs a trust. In some cases, a trust will be highly beneficial, while in other cases the cost of establishing or administering a trust will likely outweigh its benefits.
When I meet with clients, I review their estate, learn about their asset distribution wishes, and then provide recommendations on the estate plan components that will best accomplish their goals.