Estate Planning Archives

Including a special needs trust in an estate plan

When Quincy residents are beginning to plan for how their assets will one day be distributed among their heirs, there's a natural inclination to want to provide for those who need support the most. Those with children and grandchildren living with disabilities or special needs may include them in their estate planning by providing for a generous inheritance that will help cover their long-term care. But a direct distribution of funds may create more problems for an individual with special needs than it solves.

Estate planning: a valuable New Year's resolution

The last days of 2017 are upon us. In just a few short weeks, Quincy residents will flip the calendar over to the New Year. As they do, many will embark upon New Year's resolutions. Getting into better physical shape, giving up bad habits and trying new things are all common and laudable resolutions. One less common, albeit of perhaps even greater importance than these, should be creating an estate plan.

Blow the dust off that estate plan, and take a second look

Estate planning isn't something that is done in one attempt, and then set aside forever. In fact, failing to revisit one's estate plan from time to time can be a critical error. This is because life brings constant changes that could affect how a person wants their affairs and property handled at the end of their life and upon their death. The following are some tips for Massachusetts residents to keep in mind if they have an estate plan.

Don't underestimate sentimental value when estate planning

When making a will, people in Quincy may initially think of how they're going to distribute their big-ticket items, such as their house, automobiles, stocks and bank accounts. However, they should not underestimate pieces of personal property that, while they might not have a great deal of actual value, have a great deal of sentimental value.

When should a person's estate plan be reviewed?

Some people in Quincy may have created an estate plan years ago and considered the matter settled. However, as time progresses, big changes can happen in a person's life. For this reason, estate planning is not a "one and done" process, but instead estate plans should be reviewed periodically, to ensure their provisions are still appropriate.

Is your power of attorney legally enforceable?

Many people in Massachusetts may have taken the wise step of estate planning years or even decades ago, and, as part of their estate plan created a medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney. However, that does not mean that those documents should be left to collect dust. They need to be reviewed periodically, to make sure they are still in line with any changes in law that may have occurred.

What's the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts?

When people are considering adding a trust to their estate plans, a common question is whether to make it revocable or irrevocable. Both types of trusts have advantages and disadvantages, and a lot depends on individual circumstances.

What needs to go in your will?

If you are just starting the estate planning process, then you probably do not have a lot of experience with the documents and processes that go into creating a fully realized estate plan. That is all right, and it is true of most people, but the first step is getting educated about the basic instruments that go into the process. The most well-known is an individual's will.

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