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Massachusetts Estate Planning Law Blog

What should I consider when selecting a power of attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a document that should form part of your estate planning toolkit. There are many different types of them, each with different purposes. One may allow you to appoint another individual to handle your finances. Another may allow you a designee to make medical decisions for you.

In either one of these situations, the person appointed to be your POA is able to choose for you if you don't have the capacity to do so yourself. That being said, choosing the right person to appoint as your POA is not an easy feat.

How does divorce impact inheritance?

When a couple is married, it is taken for granted that in the event of the divorce, assets will be divided. However, in the process of filing for a divorce, the question of what happens to an inheritance fund becomes more murky.

Inheritances in general are considered as separate property. Therefore, when you create a will and state the beneficiary as a certain person, in general their spouse or divorcing spouse will never have a right to the inheritance assets.

Creating an advance directive in your living will

Creating a living will can be a daunting task. Many people know that they should create one, but it often becomes very difficult to face what feels like a scary task. However, it does not need to be so difficult.

You could choose to see a living will as a positive act that you are taking in your life to ensure that you will always be acting in the best interests of your loved ones and that you will always have your wishes in regard to your own health followed.

How are constructive trusts different from other trusts?

When planning your estate, it is likely that you have considered creating a trust to hold your assets in your lifetime and beyond. All of the different types of trusts can be very confusing, especially to a person who is just starting to plan his or her estate. Therefore, it is important that a person planning his or her estate takes the time to learn about the different types of trusts that are available, and what benefits they can provide.

A constructive trust is not like most other types of trusts. They are not created with the help of a lawyer, but instead they are ordered by a court.

Helpful tips for choosing a power of attorney

Making the hard decisions in life is important for your well-being and peace of mind. Whether you are single, married or have children, it is important that you plan your estate as early in life as possible.

You should also plant to update it as major life changes occur. One of the most important and difficult decisions you will need to make is choosing what person you name in a power of attorney. There are some helpful tips for making the right decision.

How can I contest my loved one’s will?

Losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult times in a person's life. Along with the existence of emotional difficulty, there can also be added stress and tension due to the fact that you will need to sort out the financial affairs. It is important that you get the support of family and friends at difficult times such as these, so that they can offer both emotional and practical support.

When you are dealing with the final wishes of your loved one, you may have reason to believe that what has been indicated on a will and testament does not reflect his or her final wishes. In this case, you may consider taking action to contest the will. There are three steps that you should take in order to successfully pursue this.

Smart ways to protect your wealth

No one wants to lose their hard-earned cash to foolish investment strategies. Therefore, it pays to invest a little time into knowing how to adequately manage your wealth in the future, both for your life and the lives of your beneficiaries.

There are many ways to legally and legitimately protect your assets. You have worked hard for the assets that you have accumulated over your lifetime, and therefore, it only makes sense that you do what you can to protect them. The following are some strategies that you can employ in order to do so.

Modifying a will the safe way

There may come a time in your life when certain circumstances change: Perhaps you go through a divorce, you lose a loved one or you gain a grandchild or a new family member. In situations such as these, it is understandable that you would want to go through the process of modifying a will so that your wishes are accurately represented.

There can be some risks when it comes to modifying a will. If it is not done properly, it could be interpreted as suspicious behavior, or it may never be recognized as a valid modification, meaning that your original will or an earlier version will be the one that is enforced after your death.

The law on power of attorneys in Massachusetts

Americans are living longer than ever, and with increased age comes additional concerns about how we will be able to live our lives with dignity and peace in our later years. As we live longer, conditions such as dementia can develop, and it can lead to a situation where a person is physically healthy, but his or her brain is not.

Dementia, as well as many other conditions, can make us confused and unable to make informed decisions when having health issues. Therefore, many people anticipate this possible outcome and decide to plan for it by appointing a durable power of attorney.

The difference between testamentary trusts and living trusts

Trusts should be an important part of planning anyone's estate. There are many benefits in using trusts as part of your estate plan. For example, trusts can make it possible for you to avoid the probate process, which can be both lengthy and expensive for your beneficiaries.

Trusts can mean that you are able to get peace of mind with the knowledge that the assets you own are in a safe place, and will be distributed easily and quickly to your beneficiaries after your death.

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