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Wills are just the beginning of stress relief for the future

Retirement may seem years or even decades away for some Massachusetts residents. However, that may not stop concerns about the future over what would happen to an individual and his or her family if one was no longer able to care for him- or herself or family. Fortunately, estate plans with wills at their core can help eliminate the stress of an unplanned future.

However, death is not the only event that needs planning. An illness or accident could render an adult individual unable to conduct his or her affairs at any age. Choosing one or more trusted persons to take care of the financial and health care decisions ahead of time can provide a sense of relief for both the individual and family members. Moreover, a plan needs to be in place to make adjustments to one's estate if long-term care is needed.

After the powers of attorney are completed, a person's attention can be turned toward how and when his or her property will be distributed upon death. A person's family dynamic will have a significant impact on these decisions. Other considerations, such as taxes and protecting assets from creditors and ex-spouses, may also need to be discussed.

Wills, trusts and other estate-planning documents do more than settle a Massachusetts resident's affairs. They provide peace of mind to both the plan's creator and family members. Having a plan in place lets family members know what an individual's wishes are, and what he or she expects to happen in the event of incapacitation or death.

Source: Forbes, "11 Fundamental Elements of a Stress-Free Estate Plan", Mark Eghrari, Dec. 9, 2014

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