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Massachusetts estate planning is about more than wills

There may be numerous people in Massachusetts who have the wrong impression of estate planning. Many people think that estate-planning documents only cover what will happen to a person's assets when they pass away. However, there is more to it than just wills and trusts.

One of the most important documents is the power of attorney. This document gives a trusted friend or family member the right to make decisions for a person, in the event he or she becomes incapacitated in some way. Without this document, there can be delays in lifesaving treatment or stopping certain treatment in accordance with the incapacitated person's wishes.

Many young people also fail to do estate planning due to their age. However, older people concerned about dying of old age, or from some other age-related ailment, are not the only ones who pass away. As much as no one wants to think about it, young people pass away as well. Even having just the basic estate-planning documents is better than having none.

As a person ages, acquires assets, gets married or has children, an estate plan, including wills and trusts, may be modified. Updating documents, as life circumstances change, will ensure that a person's wishes are carried out, no matter what stage of life he or she may be in at the time. Another thing to consider is that the laws of the United States and Massachusetts may change from time to time where estate planning is concerned. Adjustments may need to be made to conform to, or combat, those changes.

Source: Business Insider, 5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid, Mandi Woodruff, Oct. 21, 2013

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