An estate plan is designed to take care of the family members left behind after a Massachusetts resident passes away. Ordinarily, the documents are set up to make estate administration easier and less time-consuming for his or her loved ones. However, dealing with the particulars of how everything will happen is too much for some loved ones. In that case, it will not matter how well an estate plan is crafted.
Some Massachusetts residents just are not adept at dealing with financial and/or business matters -- it simply is not their strength. For example, in most marriages, either the husband or the wife shoulders the majority of the responsibility for the family's financial affairs. Often, the other spouse is kept up-to-date but has no interest in being a part of the process.
In this case, explaining the details of an estate plan may be too much to process. Further, expecting that spouse to be able to locate all of the documents needed to administer the estate and then understanding how the pieces fit together could make an already challenging time even more difficult. In order to remove this stress for the individual and his or her loved ones, enlisting the assistance of a third party may be advisable.
The estate administration process does not have to be a harrowing experience for family members. All of the documents associated with an individual's estate plan could be kept in one place until they are needed -- including wills, trusts and beneficiary designation forms for retirement accounts and insurance policies. The same person who safeguards these documents can also assist with the probate process. So long as they know whom to contact in the event of an individual's passing, his or her family members are free to focus on grieving and adjusting to life without him or her.
Source: Forbes, "The Single Most Important -- And Unconventional -- Estate Planning Tip You Will Ever Get", Charles Sizemore, March 19, 2015