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February 2016 Archives

Estate planning is not only for married couples

A Massachusetts resident does not have to be married in order to benefit from an estate plan. Being single might not mean that there is a spouse or children to worry about, but that does not mean that estate planning is not a necessity. In some ways, it is even more important for someone who does not have his or her own family to make preparations in case of incapacitation or death.

Do all assets have to go through the probate process?

It could take anywhere from months to years for a probate to be completed. During that time, family members will not have access to or the benefit of at least some of the assets in a Massachusetts estate. Fortunately, there are estate-planning tools available that will keep most, if not all, of a person's assets from going through the probate process.

What happens when Massachusetts residents die without wills?

Many Massachusetts residents still do not have an estate plan. Having wills drawn up requires that they contemplate their own deaths, and that is not a pleasant prospect for anyone. So what happens to a person's estate if he or she dies without a will? In some cases, chaos ensues. In all cases, surviving family members must rely on state law and spend extra time and money in court.

Reviewing wills, trusts and other estate planning documents

Many Massachusetts residents already have an estate plan. They might be under the impression that their wills, trusts and other estate planning documents will remain effective over time. However, there are several situations in which those documents will need to be reviewed and possibly be changed or updated.