Trusts, Wills & Probate
No one wishes to think about what will happen if they become seriously ill or die, however trying to make important decisions for someone else during a time of crisis is distressing. Does your family know what you want? Do they know if you wanted to be kept on life support? Did you tell them which interventions you want, and which ones you might not want?
This is why a well drafted Estate Plan including a Health Care Proxy and Living Will is a gift to your loved ones if you become incapacitated.
A well drafted Estate Plan:
Gives your loved one’s peace of mind
Reduces potential conflicts among family members
Guiding You Through the Complexities of Probate
When it comes to the transfer of money and property upon someone's death, the state wants to monitor it for possible fraud. To do so, states created a series of rules and regulations that must be followed to ensure that all property passes to heirs as intended or, in the absence of a will, as mandated by law.
This is the probate process. In Massachusetts, we call it probate of will (if there is a will) or administration (if no will exists). If no will exist property will pass to blood relatives according to the laws of intestacy.
When drafting an estate plan our strategy is simple. First, to ensure your desires are properly executed. Second to work with you and your financial advisor to tailor a plan to maximize the amount of assets your Estate will keep and to minimize tax liability through the use of trusts, gifting and other legal means that let assets bypass the probate process.
Why Avoid Probate?
While probate sounds innocuous, it actually has many drawbacks:
It is complex, creating a hassle for the family.
It is a lengthy process, involving a minimum of one year until the estate is closed.
It is a public record, which could invite objection and scrutiny.
It is expensive, because state administrators and attorneys must handle it.
Do You Want to Contest A Will?
Disputes over last wills and testaments are not uncommon. Red flags that a will contest is in order could include:
Last-minute changes to a will (a deathbed will)
Changes made when a person has questionable mental capacity
Changes made when a person is in a nursing facility
Changes made while a person is under court guardianship or changes made by a new attorney rather than the family's long-standing attorney
Inheritance of everything by a second spouse while children from the first marriage are excluded
If you believe a will is invalid, reach out to us to assess the situation and explain how to proceed.
Available for Any Probate Needs
We offer free consultations so we can listen to your concerns and assess which options might be best for you. You can call (508) 540-6500 or fill out our office to schedule an appointment.