Many Massachusetts residents look forward to retirement and make sure that they plan for it. However, they fail to plan for what comes after retirement -- the probate process. Moreover, retirement plans could be interrupted by an illness or accident. Failing to plan for either of these possibilities could lead to other problems in the future.
Without an estate plan that includes at least the basic documents -- a will, powers of attorney for health care and finances, and advanced directives -- family members will have to spend time and money obtaining the right to act on behalf of a deceased relative. Further, an individual who is incapacitated will relinquish the right to maintain control over his or her estate and health care decisions. These documents allow an individual to decide in advance who will handle money and medical decisions in the event of incapacitation and who will receive what assets upon his or her death.