Jump to Navigation
Let's Get Started!

Waltham, Massachusetts Estate Planning Blog

What estate and gift taxes and why do people want to avoid them?

  • 14
  • April
    2015

Since tomorrow is April 15, we wanted to write about a topic that everyone loves to hate: taxes.

When it comes to estate planning, avoiding estate and gift taxes are two of the biggest goals for many of our clients.

Common reasons for removing a trustee from a trust

  • 09
  • April
    2015

Choosing a trustee is an extremely important decision that many Massachusetts residents put a lot of thought into. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, the trustee you initially appoint does always end up being your best advocate. But just because you aren't thrilled with something your trustee did, should you seek to have him or her removed?

First, it's important to know that removing a trustee is not as easy as having a conversation with that person and moving on. You have to petition the probate court in order to seek removal, so you must have a good reason for doing so. The following list includes several reasons why a trustee might be removed from his or her duties.

Too many baby boomers ignoring their estate plans

  • 09
  • April
    2015

While most baby boomers are eager to make sure their retirement plans are in order, USA TODAY recently reported that too few are accounting for an estate plan, which can result in stress and conflict for surviving family members.

A New York-based wealth adviser told USA TODAY that an estate plan is usually at the bottom of baby boomers’ to-do lists, if it’s even on their lists at all. Instead, as baby boomers are living longer, healthier lives, they are focusing more on having enough money to do what they want during retirement.

Gifting of money as an estate planning tool

  • 07
  • April
    2015

Estate planning and taxes are inseparable. With the idea of preserving assets within the estate, there are a number of considerations going into this including estate taxation, creation of powers of attorney, wills and trusts, and the possible setting up of guardianships. We must consider all of these items when putting together an estate plan meeting all of your goals.

The federal estate tax exemption recently rose to $5.43 million per individual and $10.86 million for married couples. This allows each individual to give away $5.43 million to family members without requirements of having to pay a federal gift tax.

Two estate planning issues people without children need to address

  • 31
  • March
    2015

Effective estate planning is just as important, if not more important, for people without children as it is for people with children.

There are two main issues that people without children need to address in their estate plans: who you want to make end of life decisions for you and what you want done with your assets when you pass away.

Non-resident aliens with real estate need effective estate plan

  • 25
  • March
    2015

The U.S. housing market is finally on the upswing, and one contributing factor could be the uptick in international buyers who are purchasing property in America.

The National Association of Realtors recently reported that real estate sales to international clients increased from $68.2 billion in 2013 to $92.2 billion in 2014, and almost half of those sales involved non-resident aliens.

4 reasons to include online accounts in your estate plan

  • 18
  • March
    2015

During the estate planning process, most people focus primarily on making sure their children are provided for, and they give little thought to their digital accounts. But people often underestimate just how much of their lives take place online these days.

Most companies refuse to give family members access to online accounts even after a death has occurred because of privacy reasons, which means you need to plan ahead of time for how these accounts should be handled.

What duties does an executor have?

  • 11
  • March
    2015

Being named as an executor of an estate is not a small job. Ultimately, the responsibility of the executor is to make sure that a person’s last wishes are granted, according to his or her last will and testament.

As we explained in an article on our website, the executor of an estate has many important duties. Included among the duties are:

Reasons why a will might be contested

  • 05
  • March
    2015

There is a common misconception that just having a will in place will be sufficient to protect a person's wishes and assets. People assume that they can draw up a will, expect that the terms will be carried out as specified and never have to worry about any potential disputes.

However, this mindset can leave several loose ends that can put people in a position to have a will or certain provisions in the will invalidated. In too many situations, people make critical errors or oversights that may be grounds for someone to contest a will.

Will you select a Facebook ‘legacy contact’?

  • 04
  • March
    2015

For years, distraught family members were angered and hurt over Facebook’s unwillingness to hand over the passwords of accounts belonging to members who had passed away. Instead, Facebook had the policy to put an automatic freeze on a member’s account after learning that the member had died.

This left family members upset for numerous reasons. For one, it meant that they could not access their loved one’s final digital footprints. It also angered family members who wished to edit or take down their loved one’s online presence.

Articles by Our Attorneys
Best of 2009 | Silver Best of 2009 | Bronze NAELA | National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. Wealth Manager | 2011 Five Star Five Star Professional | 2012 Wealth Manager CPA Super Lawyers REBA | The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts Best lawyers|Best Law firms| U S news 2014
Serving Businesses and Individuals Throughout Massachusetts

Cushing & Dolan, P.C.
10 Tremont Street Third Floor, Suite 9
Boston, MA 02108

Phone: 617-523-1555
Fax: 617-523-5653
Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Boston Law Office Map

Cushing & Dolan, P.C.
375 Totten Pond Road Suite 200
Waltham, MA 02451

Phone: 617-523-1555
Fax: 617-523-5653
Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Waltham Law Office Map

Cushing & Dolan, P.C.
276 Turnpike Road Route 9, Suite 228
Westborough, MA 01581

Phone: 617-523-1555
Fax: 617-523-5653
Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Westborough Law Office Map

Cushing & Dolan, P.C.
520 Providence Highway Route 1, Suite 10
Norwood, MA 02062

Phone: 781-278-9901
Fax: 781-278-9911
Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Norwood Law Office Map

Cushing & Dolan, P.C.
444 Washington Street Suite 203
Woburn, MA 01801

Phone: 617-523-1555
Fax: 617-523-5653
Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Woburn Law Office Map

Braintree Office
Cushing & Dolan, P.C.

50 Braintree Hill Park
Suite 308
Braintree, MA 02184-8724

Phone: 617-523-1555
Fax: 617-523-5653
Toll Free: 888-759-5109
Map and Directions