Menu ${}${SEMFirmNameAlt}${}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Practice Areas
Let's Get Started!

Massachusetts Estate Planning Law Blog

Mark your calendars, National Estate Planning Awareness Week is coming

While most people associate October with everything from Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Healthy Lung Month to Columbus Day and, of course, Halloween, it's important not to overlook other important and valuable events taking place during the course of these 31 days.

For example, were you aware that next week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week? Indeed, this has been an annual occurrence since 2008 when it was granted legal recognition by the passage of H. Res. 1499 by 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

What are the advantages of a living will?

Whether based on a traumatic personal experience or a fear of the unknown, many people find the prospect of planning for an incapacitating or potentially deadly injury or illness to be a highly unappealing endeavor.

While this makes sense, it's important to understand that this is actually a vital element of estate planning, as no one's plan for the future can truly be called complete until he or she has taken steps to execute the advance care directive known as a living will.

Why the execution of a simple will might be 'simpler' than you think

From the mistaken belief that estate planning is reserved for the very wealthy to general unease over the prospect of addressing the topic of death, there are multiple reasons why people choose to forgo the advantages of creating a comprehensive estate plan or even executing a simple will.

Indeed, when it comes to this latter legal instrument, many people consciously avoid it over concerns that it involves an extremely complex process necessitating the investment of considerable time, money and energy.

What happens when you die without a will in Massachusetts? - III

While our blog always makes a point to highlight the importance of estate planning, we took a slightly different approach this past summer by exploring how Massachusetts' intestate distribution scheme works. Specifically, the intention was to demonstrate how inaction in this area could result in hard-earned assets being divided among family members you perhaps wouldn't have chosen -- or even the Commonwealth.

To that end, we examined intestate property distribution in which the surviving spouse is the only heir and intestate property distribution in which the surviving spouse is not the only heir. We'll conclude this discussion in today's post, examining property distribution in which there is no surviving spouse.   

Keep these points in mind when executing a will

Somewhat shockingly, a recent survey found that as many as 64 percent of adults here in the U.S. have not taken the altogether vital step of executing a will. This effectively means that the laws of the state in which they reside will decide how their hard-earned assets will be divided and, by extension, that the special needs of certain loved ones may not be adequately covered.

Given all of the ramifications associated with failing to execute a will, those who make an appointment with an estate planning attorney to take this vital step should be commended for bucking this otherwise unsettling trend and making the necessary plans for the future.

Is it possible to refuse an inheritance? - II

In our last post, our blog spent some time discussing how those individuals who learn that they will be receiving some sort of inheritance from a deceased family member or friend may ultimately find themselves feeling flattered that their loved one left them a gift, but also wondering if they really want it.

To that end, we began discussing how people are legally permitted to refuse a gift from a person's estate via a disclaimer. We'll continue our discussion in today's post, examining why a person would be inclined to refuse an inheritance.

Is it possible to refuse an inheritance?

When a person learns that they will be receiving some manner of inheritance from the estate of a loved one who recently passed, chances are good that they'll feel mixed emotions. On the one hand, they are likely still mourning the recent loss of their friend or family member and unconcerned with material things, while on the other hand that might be excited by the prospect of receiving some money and/or property.

While this is perfectly understandable, it's important for people in this scenario to know that they might feel another emotion: conflict. Indeed, while they might be honored that their loved one was kind enough to leave them a gift, they might also wonder if they would be better off without it.

What parents of disabled children should know about estate planning

As the parents of a disabled child, you naturally do everything in your power to ensure that they are not only provided for in every conceivable way, but also that their lives are both happy and fulfilling. While these efforts are to be commended, it's also important to remember that your parental duties extend beyond just the here and now.

Specifically, it's imperative for parents with disabled children to make sure that they have the necessary estate plan in place, as it can help ensure that their child's emotional, financial and medical needs will continue to be met in the event of their untimely demise.

Some important estate planning considerations for married same-sex couples

June 26, 2015 was a day of great celebration for LGBT couples across the nation and around the world, as the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its historic decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states in Obergefell v. Hodges.

While the decision will forever be cause for celebration, it's important for those same-sex couples who have since tied the knot not to overlook some important legal matters, including estate planning considerations.

How can I include health care matters in my estate plan? - II

In our last post, our blog spent some time discussing how a person's estate plan can't be considered truly complete until they have made the necessary arrangements for their medical care, something that can actually be accomplished relatively easily thanks in large part to Massachusetts's Health Care Proxy Law.

To recap, this law essentially authorizes all competent adults 18 and over to appoint a health care agent to make medical decisions on their behalf. In today's post, we'll continue this important discussion.

Serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts

Waltham Office
375 Totten Pond Road
Suite 200
Waltham, MA 02451

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Waltham Law Office Map

Boston Office
10 Tremont Street Third Floor
Suite 9
Boston, MA 02108

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Boston Law Office Map

Braintree Office
25 Braintree Hill Office Park
Suite 406
Braintree, MA 02184

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Phone: 617-523-1555
Braintree Law Office Map

Cranston Office
200 Midway Road
Suite 159
Cranston, RI 02920

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Cranston Law Office Map

Hyannis Office
1330 Phinney’s Lane
Hyannis, MA 02601

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Hyannis Law Office Map

Norwood Office
520 Providence Highway
Suite 10
Norwood, MA 02062

Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Norwood Law Office Map

Westborough Office
276 Turnpike Road
Suite 228
Westborough, MA 01581

Westborough Law Office Map

Woburn Office
444 Washington Street
Suite 203
Woburn, MA 01801

Woburn Law Office Map