Getting older is a natural part of life and the number of older Americans will grow exponentially in the next few years as the majority of baby boomers in Massachusetts and around the country reach retirement age. Contemplating one's mortality is not easy but procrastination where estate planning is concerned is not the way to approach it. Failure to plan for the future could result in unintended consequences including the bulk of one's estate being gobbled up by nursing homes.
Another New Year has arrived and one's thoughts may turn to the future and possibly to the legacy that one might eventually want to leave for loved ones. Confronting mortality may not seem to be an appealing task, but it is inevitable as no one gets out of here alive. In considering estate planning in Massachusetts there are many questions one may wish to consider.
Another year is coming to an end in Massachusetts. The year end brings with it a time of reflection in reviewing the past year and anticipation of what the new year may hold. Families gather and reflect and look forward together. Aging relatives may be concerned about their legacy but hesitant to raise the subject of estate planning and end-of-life planning. The truth is that family gatherings can be an excellent time to review these issues.
The end of another year is approaching in Massachusetts. Thoughts may inadvertently turn to tax time but it can also be an excellent time for some proactive estate planning. The tax law affords one the opportunity to share a portion of one's estate during a person's lifetime without incurring a gift tax. It provides the opportunity for some generous gifting.
The end of another year is approaching, and people often take time to contemplate the year that has passed and look forward and plan for the year to come. As the population of Massachusetts and the rest of the country continues to age, thoughts naturally turn to leaving a legacy and estate planning that can make that legacy a reality. Contemplating and planning for the end of one's life can be difficult, but it can be a priceless gift to family and loved ones.
It is often said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Sadly, death does not preclude the need to pay taxes. In addition to the distribution of an estate according to the deceased's will or trust, taxes must be paid by the estate. If the deceased did not engage in estate planning, then the estate is settled through the courts in accordance with Massachusetts intestate law.
The family dynamic in Massachusetts and elsewhere around the country is changing. This is particularly important to be aware of as people approach retirement age. In prior generations, the majority of people entering retirement and approaching old age relied, to some extent, on the aid and support of their families and particularly their children. More and more people are now deciding not to marry and many married couples are opting not to have children. This has significant implications for estate planning.
Another year is coming to an end in Massachusetts. With the beginning of 2020, certain parameters and maximums are changing regarding estate and gift taxes. Among these are new limits on estate and gift amounts. Both provide important tools for estate planning.
The makeup of a family has changed considerably over the years in Massachusetts and around the nation. As couples divorce and remarry, blended families have become more and more common where the makeup of a family can consist of half and stepsiblings. Estate planning, particularly for older couples, should take all of this into account in order to ensure that one's final wishes are carried out as intended. In addition to blended families, more and more older couples are living together without getting married. A recent study shows that the number of couples aged 50 or older who are living together but not married has increased 75% since 2007.
People in Massachusetts lead very busy lives. Days seem to run together and another year can pass in the blink of an eye. Indeed, the end of the year is approaching and many people take the opportunity to review past accomplishments and plan for the new year. No one likes to contemplate the new year being a person's last, but the fact remains that no one knows how much time one is allotted and as such, estate planning is not a task that should be indefinitely delayed.