The fact is that few Massachusetts residents are comfortable with contemplating their own death. This causes people to delay executing wills to distribute their property after they pass away. However, wills and other estate planning documents are not only for the peace of mind of the person executing them, they are plans for the future of that person’s family.
Not having an estate plan does not mean that a person’s property will not get distributed after death. The inestacy laws of the state of Massachusetts are the default way for property to be distributed in the absence of a will. However, the property may not go to the heirs that the individual would have preferred. During life, providing for family members is a primary motivation for many people. An estate plan allows them to continue providing for their family after they pass away.
An estate plan can do more than give away property. For those with minor children, a guardian can be named to care for them. Tax implications can be addressed, which in many cases means that taxes against the estate are reduced or eliminated, which leaves more of the estate’s value for heirs. Specific property can also be given to certain people. In addition, a person can be appointed to serve as executor of the will, which makes the first step in a probate easier on family members.
Making the appropriate preparations ahead of time can help secure the future of family members. It can also make matters easier for those left behind. Without wills, family members would more than likely spend more time and money in court after losing a loved one.
Source: wmur.com, “Money Matters: Common estate planning mistakes“, Marc Hebert, Dec. 10, 2015