5 Key Questions to Answer When Creating Your Will

A will is an important document to ensure that upon your death your assets are distributed according to your wishes rather than as the state determines. If the idea of creating a will feels like you’re tempting fate, think of it as a road map you’re leaving your family, so they don’t have to stress over making the right decisions on your behalf. If you do not have a will, you are considered to have dies intestate and your property will be divided according to specific state laws and rules rather than as you wished. You may have heard of
Continue Reading

What does estate planning mean?

When many people hear the term “Estate Planning,” they think of billionaires like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. They think of their elderly parents. Estate planning isn’t only for the wealthy or the elderly. Simply put, estate planning is your opportunity to make legally effective decisions regarding how you want your property, finances, and health care to be handled. Estate planning may also include planning for the care and custody of your minor children or family members with disabilities in the event of your death. It usually involves deciding how and to whom your property will be distributed. Additionally, it
Continue Reading

Contemplating Your Estate Plan During Covid-19

Get Your Affairs in Order For most of us, coronavirus and the threat it poses has made us contemplate the status of our estate plans. As thousands of people in the Commonwealth have died of COVID-19 and its complications, many thousands more are ill, and many, many thousands more face unemployment and financial hardship. There are also innumerable, lesser losses: newborn grandchildren who have yet to meet their grandparents; weddings canceled and postponed; funerals with only a handful of mourners present to celebrate a life well-lived. All this is enough to make anyone consider life and what will become of
Continue Reading

What makes a Will Valid? Do I need an attorney to make an official Will?

A Will, is a legal document created by an individual to distribute property and provide instruction about how they would like their final wishes to be carried out after their death. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, if a person dies without a Will, state law determine how and to whom the person’s assets will be distributed. This process is referred to as intestacy law, and the court’s distribution of a person’s estate cannot be disputed by the beneficiaries. This is why having a Will is one of the most important legal documents a person can create. To be considered a
Continue Reading

529A Accounts for Disabled Individuals

posted by Eric Schutzbank Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) became law in December 2014.  Similar to the 529 college saving plans, ABLE allows people with disabilities and their families to put aside funds for disability-related costs.  Set up by the state and administered through financial institutions, the income from qualified 529A Accounts for Disabled Individuals accrues tax-free. The law defines qualified individuals as those eligible for benefits under the Social Security Act title II or XVI.  In addition, if a physician has diagnosed blindness, medical or mental disability causing significant impairment to an individual aged 26 or younger and
Continue Reading

Estate and Advanced Care Planning is for Single People too

posted by Eric Schutzbank Being single doesn’t mean you do not need an estate plan. Single people need to be taken care of if they become incapacitated and also want to have a say in how their property is distributed after their death. Single people often have unique considerations when planning for the future. Married couples most often have their spouses act as their fiduciary in the event of incapacitation or death. Older couples with adult children general have their children designated to make decisions when they or their spouse can no longer do so. Single people without children need
Continue Reading

When Caring for an Elderly Relative becomes undue influence

posted by Eric Schutzbank Taking care of a deceased person’s assets and business affairs adds stress to an already emotional situation. Adding to the anxiety, families sometimes discover their loved one has been taken advantage of or manipulated by the relative they entrusted to provide care. A vulnerable elderly person is easy prey to someone who wants to manipulate them by seeking to be a beneficiary of their estate to the possible exclusion of the rest of the family. If a family member suspects this has occurred, do they have any legal recourse and/or means to protect the Elder who
Continue Reading