An estate plan begins with a will or living trust that names whom will get your Estate and in what manner.
If you do not create an estate plan, the government will decide who will receive your assets.
This is why it is important to have a well-drafted estate plan in place to ensure that your estate passes to those that you want.
Because of the many options that exist, it is important to obtain counsel from an experienced estate planning attorney in order to preserve your family’s wealth.
Trust Administration & Probate
If your spouse or loved one has passed away leaving a Last Will and Testament, you will have to go through the Probate process.
Probate is the process of filing the Will with the Court and having the person nominated as Personal Representative or Executor appointed by the Court. It can be an extremely complicated and lengthy process and the Personal Representative will be personally liable if they do something wrong.
As a result, it is important to get the assistance of an experienced attorney when handling the Probate of a Will.
Financial & Retirement Planning
It is important to make a list of all of your assets and accounts so that your attorney is able to assess and come up with an estate plan that is best for you.
IRA and Retirement Plans are also assets that are part of your Estate and should be considered when taking steps to create a estate plan that meets all of your goals.
By setting up a Trust, you can make the Trust the beneficiary of these accounts so that the assets from these accounts go through the Trust, according to its terms, before reaching the beneficiaries. You can also save money on estate taxes through this method.
There are important tax consequences that you need to consider with these accounts and as a result it is important to speak to an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your beneficiary designations are set up correctly.
Everyone should take into account that at some point in their life they may need to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility.
It is our goal to help you preserve your life savings when it comes to nursing home costs. One of the alternatives to privately paying your nursing home costs is Medicaid.
“Spending down” is a strategy that an elderly person can take in order to protect his or her assets and still qualify for Medicaid. There is what is called the 5-year Medicaid look-back rule. MassHealth will deny benefits if an applicant has transferred assets to someone other than a spouse, in the 5 years leading up to their Medicaid application.
Therefore it is important that you create a plan in advance so that you are not effected by this 5 year look-back rule.
Real Estate Services
We take action to make sure that your residential closings run without worry or delay.
- Purchase closings
- Refinance closings
- Purchase and Sale negotiations
- Title Searches
- Recording Documents
Health Care Protection
It is vey important that you have a Health Care Proxy executed.
To plan for the future possibility of accidents or illness, all adults (anyone over the age of 18) should use a health care proxy form to appoint their health care agent. A health care agent will be responsible for making medical decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to do so.
We can also help you by creating a HIPAA release form to list those who you give permission to get medical information about you in the event that you are in the hospital.
LGBTQ Estate Planning
You will be able to appoint your same-sex partner as a Trustee, Personal Representative, Durable Power of Attorney, and/or Health Care Proxy if you wish. All you have to do is set up an estate plan.
Furthermore, a Trust will grant you privacy because it will not have to go through the public probate process.
Special Needs Planning
It is extremely important that families who have a family member with a physical or mential disability, or a chronic illness create a well-defined estate plan.
A Special Needs Trust, also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust, can help ensure that your family members with a disability are well-cared for even after you are gone.
One of the most important parts of a Special Needs Trust is that those funds are not considered countable assets for the purposes of qualification for certain governmental benefits.
By creating this type of Trust, you are providing your loved one with funds while they are still able to qualify for their governmental benefits.
It is important to plan who would take care of your personal affairs or financial affairs should something ever happen to you.
Guardianship provides the guardian with decision-making authority and responsibility over an individuals person’s personal affairs.
Limited guardianship gives the guardian decision-making authority over selected areas that the protected person has been determined unable to manage by him or herself, such as health care decisions.
Conservatorship is similar to guardianship however, instead of making decisions regarding an individual’s personal affairs it is a legal relationship between a protected person and an individual appointed by the court to make financial decisions regarding the incapacitated person.
A conservatorship is limited to the management of the property and financial affairs of a protected person. As with guardianship, a conservatorship may be full, limited, or temporary.