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For many people, the hardest part of estate planning is beginning

No one likes to contemplate his or her own demise or a time when someone else may need to make important decisions because he or she is not able. That may be why one of the hardest decisions for most Massachusetts residents to make is to begin the estate planning process. Once begun, other decisions can be made that will give the individual and family members peace of mind that a plan is in place.

For instance, an individual will want to choose one or more parties to make decisions regarding the health care and financial matters of the individual in the event that he or she is either permanently or temporarily incapacitated due to an illness or injury. The individual should trust that the person or persons appointed understand what he or she would want and will carry out those wishes. These documents can be executed in conjunction with other arrangements for long term care.

It will then be necessary for a Massachusetts resident to consider what provisions will be made for his or her spouse, if any. In some cases, an individual might want to make sure that children from a prior relationship receive a portion of the estate, which would preclude leaving everything to a spouse. In addition, there could be other people that a person would like to leave something to in the event of death.

With the multitude of decisions that need to be made during estate planning, it would be beneficial not to attempt to go it alone. Estate planning documents can be tailored to the wishes and needs of an individual. Therefore, it makes good sense to enlist the help of an attorney to ensure that all of the documents necessary to carry out his or her wishes are properly drafted and executed.

Source: fdlreporter.com, "Easing the Burden: How to begin estate planning", Isabell Mueller, March 26, 2016

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