It may not surprise some Massachusetts residents that Joan Rivers knew for some time that her life was coming to an end. In anticipation of that fact, she engaged in estate planning that not only provided for her daughter and grandson, but also for herself. By executing an advance directive, Rivers' daughter was able to let her go in accordance with her wishes.
Many people in Massachusetts are aware that Casey Kasem's death was surrounded by controversy, and some say it may be in large part due to his failure to have a proper estate plan. When one party to a second marriage has adult children and marries someone within their children's age range, careful estate planning can help preempt future confrontations. Sitting everyone down and explaining how assets will be distributed in the event of the older spouse's death may put everyone's mind at ease.
Many older adults in Massachusetts are foregoing the marriage vows and living together. This may provide some advantages to many couples, but when it comes to what happens if one party becomes incapacitated or dies, it can be problematic. Cohabitation makes estate planning even more important in order to protect the surviving party.
As many Massachusetts residents are aware, Casey Kasem lent his voice to both television and radio for decades. Now, he is lying in an out-of-state hospital dying, and his family is fighting over how it will happen despite the fact that he signed an advance directive in 2007. His dilemma illustrates how sometimes families end up in court despite their loved ones having advance directives.
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.
Many Massachusetts residents with retirement accounts such as IRAs and other accounts that pass outside of a will probably filled out a beneficiary designation form when the account was first established. Depending on how long ago that was and what has gone on in their lives since, those designations may be out of date. An integral part of estate planning is ensuring the person set to inherit those accounts is still the one the account holder wants to receive them.
Now is the time of year when Massachusetts families that may not get to be together much during the rest of the year are together. This may not seem like an opportune time to discuss health care planning, but there never really is an optimal time to broach the subject. No one wants to think about becoming incapacitated -- especially around the holidays. However, making preparations might give everyone peace of mind.
People generally do not like to think of what will happen at the end of their lives and it can be unpleasant to consider the possibilities of getting sick. But the truth is that even though it can be difficult, having a long-term care plan in place is not only beneficial to an individual, but it often eases the financial and emotional strain of the loved ones around us.
We often discuss some difficult topics in this blog. People do not necessarily like to or want to think about what will happen to them and their estates after they are gone and many people avoid making appropriate plans. Some folks in Massachusetts decide that there is already enough to worry about with the stresses of a career, finances and a family so they put off unpleasant tasks, including long-term care planning. However, neglecting to deal with this issue can end up having a very serious impact on everyone around you.
As our loved ones get older, the reality is that many of them will need increasing levels of medical assistance. The stress of coping with these changes emotionally can be difficult enough for families in Massachusetts. Add in the confusing paperwork, the rigid restrictions of certain care programs and the high costs of certain levels of care and it can all be too much for a spouse or family member to handle.