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Types of estate plans: part 1

At Curley Law Firm, L.L.P., we have answered many clients' questions about Massachusetts estate law. One of the most fundamental questions that all of our clients face is which type of estate plan is right for their needs.

In this two-part series we will examine types of estate plans and how one type of estate plan, a trust, is administered.

Intestacy

As described by The American Bar Association, in the absence of a valid will or other estate plan, your property will fall under Massachusetts intestacy laws once you die. The state will divide your property among your surviving family members according to standard intestacy laws. Typically, most assets are divided between your spouse and your descendants. While intestacy can work out for some people, it offers the person who dies very little say in how their property is distributed.

Wills

A will is one of the most important types of estate planning tools. A will allows you to specify who gets what assets after you die. It can be used to pass treasured heirlooms down through your family, or be used to fund a trust. A will is subject to probate, which means that a court will oversee the distribution of assets under the will. If you are a parent you can use your will to designate a guardian for your children if both of their parents die. 

In the second part of our series, we will discuss trusts. To learn more about intestacy and wills, please visit our estate planning webpage.

 

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