Some products and services are the same for everyone. But most of the time, you get the best value when you can customize what you are buying for your individual tastes, needs and goals.
Just like you would not buy a pair of one-size-fits-all jeans, a generic estate plan is unlikely to fit your or your family. Fortunately, in Massachusetts, you have a great deal of flexibility in how you approach estate planning. You can tailor your plan based on your current age, marital status, health, the number of children you have — virtually every aspect of your life.
Estate planning to fit your particular needs
For example, say you are 25 years old with no children. You are starting out on your career and do not own your own home. At this stage, a simple will should take care of distributing your assets according to your wishes. Although you are young and healthy, an advance directive and power of attorney designation can help you control your medical care if you become incapacitated. By comparison, if you are 55 years old, a homeowner and divorced with three children, your gift-giving goals may require more complex planning.
Beyond choosing which documents you use, the language written in the documents can make a big difference. For example, if your power of attorney document lacks certain statements, it could limit your power of attorney’s ability to act in specific situations. Or say your will names your children as heirs, but you later have another child. Does your will make them an heir as currently written?
These are details that require the attention and experience of an estate planning attorney to get right. And as time goes on, you and your lawyer can revise aspects of your plan to fit your current life.