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Waltham, Massachusetts Estate Planning Blog

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.

Advance care planning in Massachusetts: The key documents

  • 20
  • February
    2015

When most people hear the term "getting your affairs in order" they think about creating a plan for what should happen with their estate after they are gone. But another very important situation to plan for is if a medical crisis leaves you too sick to make your own health care decisions.

Would you want your loved ones to guess, and potentially fight, over what you would want? Or would it be better to clearly state your wishes through advance care planning? Most would agree that the latter is the much better option for all involved.

Have you had 'the talk' with your heirs?

  • 12
  • February
    2015

If you are someone with significant assets to pass down to your children or grandchildren, you might be reluctant to talk to your heirs about the inheritances they will be receiving.

People have many reasons for wanting to avoid the “inheritance talk” with their offspring, such as the belief that discussing an inheritance is taboo or not wanting their children or grandchildren to depend on the money; however, wealth experts say that this can be a costly mistake.

Steps to take after a loved one passes away

  • 05
  • February
    2015

Losing a loved one is perhaps the hardest thing a person can go through in life. Not only do you have to deal with your own emotions and the emotions of your family members, you also have to attend to the overwhelming responsibility of getting your loved one's final affairs in order.

To help family members through this difficult time, the AARP put together a long and thorough checklist of tasks that need to be taken care of, and the best order to follow. This post will discuss the first few steps that need to be taken care of immediately.

What are slayer statutes?

  • 28
  • January
    2015

Slayer statutes are laws that block a person from receiving an inheritance when that person murders whom he or she stands to inherit from. The laws also set out what should happen to the planned estate distribution in this event.

Slayer statutes have been in the news recently after a New York man was accused of murdering his father, whom he stood to inherit a third of a million-dollar estate from. Hedge fund founder Thomas Gilbert Sr. was shot and killed in his Manhattan apartment on Jan. 4, and his 30-year-old son, Thomas Gilbert Jr., was arrested and charged with the murder shortly thereafter. 

Two actors whose deaths revealed grave estate planning errors

  • 23
  • January
    2015

The rich and famous have access to the best lawyers in the country, so it always comes as a surprise when celebrities end up having error-ridden estate plans. Here are two recent examples of this:

When Robin Williams passed away in August, he left behind three children. Williams’ estate plan included a trust for his three children, in effort to make sure that what he left for them and other sensitive information remained private. 

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