Whatever your age or income level, you currently have an estate. Your estate consists of all of the money, property, and assets that you own. If something should happen to you, you need to know what will happen to all you have worked for. If you have not made advanced plans to make sure assets transfer to friends, family, or preferred charities, your death could create a legal mess for loved ones left behind.
With careful and comprehensive estate planning, you can avoid problems which could end up diminishing the value of an inheritance. You can make sure you provide for your family, protect your assets, and address the types of end of life issues that give you the maximum control over your future. The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. can help you with your estate planning process. If you live in Worcester, Burlington or surrounding areas, give us a call now at 866-417-4566. You can also contact us online to find out some answers to questions you may have including:
- What is estate planning?
- Why does estate planning matter in Massachusetts?
- How can a Burlington estate planning lawyer help?
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a process that involves planning what will happen to you at the end of life, and what will happen to your property when you have passed away. While many people believe that the most important aspect of estate planning is creating a last will and testament, a will may be only a very small part of your comprehensive estate plan. You need to consider your goals for your family and what quality of life you are willing to accept and you need to make choices about the medical care you will receive at the end of your life and the ways you will transfer assets after your death.
One component of estate planning involves creating advanced directives and naming a healthcare proxy. By making a living will, signing a Do Not Resuscitate order, and naming a person who can make health choices for you, you can ensure your life is not prolonged when you no longer have quality of life.
By creating a plan using joint ownership, trusts, and other methods of transferring assets, you can also provide protection for your loved one and ensure that your property is kept safe. Putting together an estate plan to control who inherits, and how they inherit, can help you to avoid family fighting over your assets and can help to make sure the things you have worked for over the course of your life are not lost.
You may also incorporate other things into your estate plan, such as a Medicaid plan to get nursing home care covered without spending down assets, and a power of attorney to name a person who will manage your property if you can’t. When you work with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can discuss everything you hope to accomplish and your lawyer will suggest the legal tools you can use to achieve your goals.
Why Does Estate Planning Matter?
Estate planning is very important for a lot of reasons. Creating an estate plan is something everyone should do because:
- You don’t want to create disharmony for your family. Many relationships break down when people fight over property after a death.
- You don’t want your assets lost to taxes. Estate taxes can significantly reduce the value of an inheritance.
- You want to protect your assets. You do not want to end up having the value of your estate reduced by mismanagement and you don’t want to be at risk of losing all you have worked for if you require nursing home care.
- You want to protect your heirs. If you have a relative who has special needs, or if you are concerned your heirs will spend your money too quickly or lose it in divorce or bankruptcy, you can explore ways to keep an inheritance safe.
- You don’t want to receive unwanted medical care. You also don’t want your family faced with- and potentially fighting over- life and death choices.
These are just a few of the key reasons why estate planning is essential for everyone. If you don’t have a plan in place already, there is no time to waste.
How can a Worcester Estate Planning Lawyer Help?
The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. provides all of the legal knowledge and advice you need to put together a complete plan for the end of your life and for what happens after your death. To learn more about the services we offer to clients in Worcester, Burlington, and surrounding areas throughout Massachusetts, give us a call at 866-417-4566 or contact us online.