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February 2014 Archives

Recent tax changes affect how assets are transferred to heirs

One of the most challenging aspects of estate planning for Massachusetts residents is deciding how best to protect heirs from hefty tax bills associated with an inheritance. Certain assets may be best passed on after death while others may provide the maximum benefit to the heir while the individual making the bequest is still alive. For many people, these decisions may not be difficult since the new federal estate tax exemption was raised to $5.34 million per person for this year.

Need for Massachusetts long-term health care planning on the rise

A recent study indicates that nearly 70 percent of all Americans age 65 will need some sort of long-term care. The level of care needed depends on many factors, but once that level is determined, finances often dictate from where that care will come. Long-term health care planning can give Massachusetts residents more options when the time arrives.

Avoiding conflict in Massachusetts estate administration

Massachusetts executors and trustees have the sometimes unenviable task of ensuring that all of the beneficiaries and heirs are satisfied. This can be a difficult task when emotions are running high. Avoiding conflict in estate administration may not always be easy, but there are ways to diffuse confrontations that could jeopardize the process and, ultimately, the inheritances of the heirs and beneficiaries.

Preparing the cornerstone of estate planning -- the will

Contemplating mortality is not something most Massachusetts residents like to do. Even though logical people realize they are not going to live forever, death may still seem like a distant possibility. Therefore, many people fail to take care of their estate planning needs -- including the drafting and executing of a will.