Far too often, Quincy residents pass away without leaving any written indication of how their estate should be handled. Not only does this risk their assets being distributed in a manner against what their wishes might have been, but it exposes their estates to legal challenges and the potential for mismanagement. Fortunately, a basic will can be drafted with relative ease, as we began discussing previously on our Quincy legal issues blog.
Anyone who has devoted some thought to estate planning will likely have concerns about taxes. One way to help protect one's estate is to indicate that those heirs who are receiving taxable assets should also be the ones paying for a proportional share of the estate taxes. Otherwise, an unfair share of the tax liability may fall on individuals who actually receive far less from the estate than others. This is a situation which can threaten the financial foundations of an estate itself.
It will also be important to address in a basic will the situation of any minors who may stand to inherit. One may direct that payments be held off or temporarily given to a parent or guardian until the minor heir reaches a given age (usually 18 or older). A clause may also be included to direct how the estate should be managed if an individual and his or her spouse die together. Certain legal language may be used to help ensure that assets do not end up in probate, but rather go back into the estate or to another beneficiary.
There are a number of these kinds of situations in which legally recognized terms and phrasing can help protect against misunderstandings or legal challenges. For this reason, a legal professional can play an important role in helping to draft even a basic will. Any Quincy resident's estate will be much better off even with that one step accomplished. We provide this information as a background on basic wills only, not as specific legal advice. Those who want to learn more about estate planning and what it can do for them should reach out to a legal professional of their choosing.