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June 2016 Archives

Where to start to protect assets after death

Statistics show that approximately 64 percent of the people in the United States do not have a will, let alone a comprehensive estate plan. Undoubtedly, many of these individuals are Massachusetts residents. Part of the reason why at least some of them have yet to take the necessary steps to protect their assets after death is because they are not sure where to start.

Facing mortality is necessary to protect your assets for heirs

Like most people around the country, Massachusetts residents do not want to contemplate their own mortality. This often stops them from protecting their assets so that their chosen heirs ultimately inherit them. Without some estate planning, those assets could unintentionally end up with some family members while other loved ones, friends and charities receive nothing.

Too few engage in long-term health care planning

Based on the information gathered by the U.S. Administration on Aging, approximately 70 percent of the country's population that is already or will be turning 65 could need assistance with day-to-day activities as they age. In contrast, only around 40 percent of the people polled believe that they will need long-term care, and at least some of them could be here in Massachusetts. Therefore, too few people are engaging in long-term health care planning.

Dealing with debts during the probate process

In 2013, it was reported that the median amount of debt held by people over the age of 60 in the United States -- including many here in Massachusetts -- is approximately $40,900. It is possible that amount has risen in the last three years, which means that an individual's assets could end up being used to pay off debts during the probate process. Therefore, any assets intended to go to heirs could be significantly diminished before any distributions are made.