By now, readers of this Massachusetts-based legal blog know that an estate plan can be a beneficial tool for individuals to have prepared. It can help families protect their wealth and ensure that money goes where it is intended. It can also provide guidance to survivors when loved ones pass away.
Estate planning is an often overlooked area of responsibility for many Massachusetts residents. While some individuals may not believe that they have enough money to justify creating estate plans, others may worry about getting their plans right and not offending any of their family members with their decisions. Despite their concerns, pretty much anyone can benefit from having a basic estate plan in place.
No one wants to think about a future where they cannot make important decisions for themselves. Whether they are unavailable due to illness, injury, or death, a person who does not have control over their own prospects may have concerns over how their wishes for the future will be respected.
There are a variety of documents that are the foundation of an effective estate plan. An estate plan can be useful and important at any stage of life whether the estate planner is concerned about planning for their children or ensuring their assets are distributed how they wish for them to be distributed.
What would happen if one’s spouse were to pass away isn’t something people generally like to think about. This may tempt individuals to put off planning for this occurrence. A recent survey indicates that many people don’t have plans in place for responding to the death of a spouse. In the survey, a little over half of the widows polled reported that they and their spouse didn’t have such plan.
When there are significant life events and changes in the law, it may be time to revisit your estate plan. But how do you know that it's time? What do you need to change? How soon should you make changes?
When you have a power of attorney over an aging parent, it gives you the ability to make financial decisions in your parent's place. It does not give you absolute authority and power, however. If you take action without understanding your rights and responsibilities, you could put your own finances and your parent's estate at risk.
As your parents age, it may be become difficult for them to make decisions on their own. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Your mom or dad may develop dementia, Alzheimer's, aphasia or another type of neurological disorder. Your parent may be injured or develop an illness where they may not be able make financial or medical decisions.
When you are raising young children, your life is busy. And when you are busy, it can be easy to focus only on the present and forget to consider the future. To protect your children, however, it is essential that you take the time to create an estate plan that outlines your wishes.
Nursing homes, long-term care facilities and in-home care can be expensive. According to a survey conducted by Genworth Financial, the average cost of a nursing home in Massachusetts is $353. That is approximately $128,845 per year. With these high costs, it is can be difficult for a family to know where to turn.