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.
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.
Like many Massachusetts residents, you may have a happy, unfussy life. It may include a spouse, children and possibly grandchildren in a simple familial situation. You may have uncomplicated financial assets and a home or even two. As a result of this straightforward situation, you may be wondering whether you need to have a will or whether your property can just pass to your surviving relatives.
As a part of creating an estate plan for your future in Massachusetts, you have selected someone to act as a health care proxy on your behalf. Considerable time and thought have been taken in your effort to choose someone who you trust to make the types of decisions that you would want to be made if you are ever incapacitated. At Curley Law Firm LLP, we have experience helping people coordinate a customized estate plan that coordinates with their personal needs and desires.