Another year is winding down, and people in Massachusetts are beginning to think about the holidays and their gift lists. Also, as another year comes to an end and the holiday season approaches, people may begin contemplating the passing of time and their own mortality. While estate planning can be a difficult task to face, having a comprehensive plan in place can be a priceless gift to loved ones.
Facing one’s own mortality can be difficult, and it leads many people to procrastinate the task of compiling an estate plan. If one considers who ultimately benefits from having a plan in place, those thoughts can serve as a motivator to get it done. For example, who will care for one’s minor children or one’s pets if an unforeseen tragedy occurs? This is particularly important for parents of young children to consider.
For older couples, contemplating what will happen to savings and assets built up over a lifetime can be a strong motivator for them to ensure that their plans are carried out according to their wishes. Failure to have a plan can result in a person’s estate being settled according to the mandate of the courts. In one case, a man died without a will, and his considerable estate went entirely to his son with no restrictions. The son was very irresponsible with money, and the assets amassed over a lifetime were gone in 18 months. A trust could have protected the assets until the son was older and more responsible.
Facing one’s own mortality can be a frightening and daunting task. Providing one’s loved ones with comprehensive estate planning that communicates a person’s final wishes in Massachusetts can be a truly priceless gift. Without it, a family may spend time arguing and involved in court disputes rather than being afforded the peace and serenity to mourn a loved one’s passing.