The language of estate planning can be confusing to some and can serve as a deterrent to putting a plan in place in Massachusetts. This need not be the case. Two terms that are tossed about a lot in the estate planning world are wills and trusts. Both can be very effective tools when putting an estate plan together.
While you may use your will to provide for your heirs by distributing your assets among them, Massachusetts law does not allow you to leave money to your pets as a gift. However, you may still ensure that there are resources to care for your pets by creating a trust. Establishing a pet trust may allow you to name a person to take over as a guardian after you pass away and ensure there is enough money to give your pet the level of care you desire for them.
If your family is from a state other than Massachusetts, or if you simply like to get away from it all every once in a while, you may have out-of-state real estate in the form of a vacation property, condo, timeshares and so on. These and other types of out-of-state property could trigger a process known as ancillary probate.
There are a number of advantages when it comes to trust, and this is especially true for those who own a business. Whether you run a large corporation or a smaller local business, you may benefit from a trust in many ways. For example, a trust can help ensure that your business will be run smoothly in the event that you are no longer able to take care of things, for whatever reason. Whether you are incapacitated due to a health problem or an age-related issue, or you find yourself in a motor vehicle crash that you never saw coming, trusts can make these hardships easier for you to deal with.
When you work on your Massachusetts estate plan, you may do so with the intention of leaving as much of what you have behind for your family or loved ones as possible, but estate taxes can throw a wrench in the works. Depending on where, exactly, you live, estate taxes can take up a substantial portion of your legacy, which can significantly reduce the amount you have to leave behind for your loved ones. At Curley Law Firm LLP, we recognize that lowering your estate tax burden is an effective method of maximizing your wealth, and we have helped many people accomplish this and similar estate planning objectives.
If you are considering whether or not to implement a life insurance policy into your estate plan, you are probably busy comparing the pros and cons of your decision. While your investment in a policy would undoubtedly provide a measure of financial security for your loved ones in Massachusetts, there are many other valuable reasons why you may consider buying life insurance.
A testamentary irrevocable trust is a trust that a representative creates after the grantor's death based on the terms of the grantor's will. Because the only person who can change the terms upon which the trust is created is the creator him or herself, the trust becomes irrevocable. However, it is important to note that, contrary to popular belief, a grantor can change the terms of the trust during his or her lifetime. If you are beginning to plan your estate in Massachusetts, there are a few reasons you should consider using an irrevocable trust.
If taking care of your family after you die is a priority, you may be wondering if a living trust or a will is better in Massachusetts. Choosing the right estate planning tool typically depends on your particular concerns, and what you want to accomplish.
A living trust is an estate planning document that many Wakefield residents use to place their assets into a trust for their own benefit while they are still alive. Upon a trustee's death, or should a trustee become disabled, the assets within the trust transfer to his or her beneficiaries. The purposes of a trust are many, but the main reason that individuals opt to use trusts instead of wills is to avoid probate and all its costs.
The federal government has set up estate tax laws that deplete an inheritance every time it is passed from one generation to the next. Caring.com explains that people in Massachusetts who want to avoid this double and triple taxation on their wealth may be able to ensure their grandchildren and great-grandchildren receive more of their inheritance by setting up a generation skipping trust.