We believe that it is very important to deal with a trustworthy wills and trusts Lawyer. At The Law Offices of Paul J. Sweeney, you can rest assured that we will never leave you disappointed. There are different types of wills and trusts. A will should include multiple terms like where your assets will go, how your taxes will be handled and much more. You will determine who will be responsible for the management and distribution of your property if you were unable to handle things yourself. With extensive resources and much knowledge in this industry, our Wills and Trusts Lawyer Jamaica Plain will help you plan for the future and protect your assets. We are committed to offering Jamaica Plain Estate Planning Attorney and our mission is to give peace of mind to all clients. All your concerns will be addressed so you will never feel confused. Our legal team is always at your disposal to provide you with valuable information, so contact us now and get a personalized approach!
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is generally considered to be the execution (signing) of a Last Will and Testament, a Health Care Proxy, and a Power of Attorney. Trusts are also part of estate planning.
What is a Last Will and Testament?
A Will is a document that outlines specifically how your property and assets will be distributed upon your death, and if you have children, it will nominate a guardian for them in the event of your death. You can leave specific items of personal property (clothing, furniture, collectibles and artwork, etc.) to specific people and your wishes must be followed. The Will also specifies who you want to be the personal representative of your estate (the executor of the Will) to administer the estate (ie, to distribute the assets pursuant to the terms of the Will.)
What is a Health Care Proxy?
A Health Care Proxy is a document that outlines the authority you are granting to the person(s) you want to nominate to make health care decisions for you, in the event of an emergency and you are unable to make your own decisions. Some people refer to this as a “living Will”, but in Massachusetts, it’s properly referred to as a Health Care Proxy. Your agent that you nominate should be fully aware of all of your desires in regard to being on life support, resuscitation if you have a terminal illness, and the taking of extraordinary measures to save your life in the event of a catastrophic accident. Typically, people nominate an agent as well as an alternate agent. Thus, if the doctor cannot get in touch with your agent, there is someone else to act in their place. You can nominate any person you trust for this position.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a document that nominates another person to act in your place, to do all financial tasks that you can do (access bank accounts and safe deposit boxes, transfer funds, borrow monies, trade stocks, etc.). Our firm will provide you with a Durable General Power of Attorney, which is a specific Power of Attorney form that holds up in the event you become incapacitated. A regular Power of Attorney becomes null and void if the person becomes incapacitated. A Durable General Power of Attorney will still be effective after the incapacitation of the principal (the person signing). The Durable General Power of Attorney also nominates who you want to be your guardian in the event that you require a guardian due to incapacitation. The person you nominate to have your Power of Attorney must be someone you trust implicitly.
Why Should I do Estate Planning?
An estate plan will achieve many objectives, including avoiding having your loved ones argue over the disposition of your assets upon death. A good estate plan can help you avoid Probate upon death. Avoiding Probate means you don’t have to have the Will administered through a Probate and Family Court, thereby avoiding the court filing fees and counsel fees. It is most often necessary to hire an attorney to probate an estate, as, although the forms are online and available to the public, they are difficult to comprehend and complete as a layperson.
Another objective of an estate plan is to avoid estate taxes upon death. Properly setting up your estate and the ownership of your assets can help achieve this.
One of the most important objectives in drafting a good estate plan is for Medicare planning purposes. If you do not have long-term care insurance, which is quite costly, then your nursing home costs will be paid by Medicare. However, Medicare has a “five-year look back” period on asset transfers, so estate planning needs to be done well in advance of needing long term care in order to avoid expending your assets to long term care costs.
Finally, the main objective of a good estate plan is to smoothly transition your assets upon death. No arguing amongst your family members as to who gets what leads to a smoother transition and harmony amongst your relatives after your death.