Did you know, if you don’t have a current estate plan in place, the Massachusetts Probate Court will decide who will inherit your possessions, raise your children, manage your assets, and administer your estate? Without proper organization, your assets could go unnoticed or become lost and loved ones may not benefit from your years of hard work. Without an estate plan, if you become incapacitated and can’t make your own decisions, the Probate Court will appoint a person to manage your affairs – someone who may or may not share the same values as you.
Too often, individuals will put off estate planning because they believe their estate is too small, they’re too young, or just avoid thinking about an uncomfortable topic. Unfortunately when an event does happen, it’s those you leave behind that have to figure out what you wanted or even where important information or records are kept.
This could be the legacy you are leaving your loved ones.
No matter how small or large, everyone has an estate. At its core, an estate plan is making decisions ahead of time, such as, deciding who gets what when you die. But there’s much more to it than that. An estate plan also considers:
• Naming a guardian for your minor children
• Instructions as to how you want to receive end-of-life care
• Appointing a person whom you know and trust who will step into your shoes to make your financial and health care decisions should you become incapacitated
• Provide and manage assets for family members who may have special needs while making sure there’s no disruption to government benefits
• Protecting your hard earned assets so they will go to your family and not to a nursing home for your care
• Avoiding the time consuming, public and expensive process of probate
• Passing on the values that are important to you
Working with an experienced Estate Planning attorney will help you address these issues and ensure that you have a proper plan in place. Remember, if you choose to not do the planning, then you choose to have others plan for you.
Thinking of our own mortality is often very difficult. No one likes to think of what would happen if we are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for ourselves. Knowing you have thought through in advance and prepared a plan that protects your family will give you and your family one of the greatest gifts – peace of mind.