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Massachusetts Estate Planning Law Blog

How court-ordered constructive trusts can be beneficial

Trusts are quite often thought of in general terms; however, there are many different types of trusts available and they differ greatly depending on the type. Therefore, it is important to understand more about all of the options and benefits so that you are able to compare how constructive trusts differ to the norm.

Constructive trusts are quite different from other types of trusts because they are not created by individual people. Instead, they are created by the court in a response to a certain situation where it is believed that justice needs to be done.

Estate tax exemptions in Massachusetts

If you are starting to plan your estate, it is likely that you will want to look into the taxes that may or not be applied to your estate at the end of your life. Many people make it their primary goal when planning their estate to minimize the gift and estate taxes that they will need to pay. This can be effectively done by being creative with your estate plan.

Therefore, if you want to create an estate plan that will benefit your beneficiaries to the maximum degree, it is a good idea to get familiar with the way that estate tax and gift tax work in the state of Massachusetts, and what tax exemptions you might be able to take advantage of.

Signs that a will is fraudulent

When a loved one passes away, it is likely that their assets will be subject to a will that they created in their lifetime. Usually, a will's contents are distributed to the beneficiaries with no dispute. Occasionally, though, loved ones may feel that the will was surprising or suspicious in some way.

If you are surprised by the outcome of a loved one's will in the state of Massachusetts, you may also have reason to believe that it was created fraudulently. The following are some red flags to watch out for in a fraudulent will.

Understanding the role of the estate executor

In any estate plan, an executor needs to be chosen. This is arguably one of the most important decisions that an estate planner will make. The executor of the estate should be a person who is distant enough from the person's affairs to not be biased; however, they should also be a highly trusted person who can be counted on to manage all affairs after the death of the owner of the estate.

If you are planning your estate, it is important that you fully understand the role of the estate executor so that you can make a well-informed decision when it comes to choosing your estate executor in the state of Massachusetts.

Debunking myths about power of attorneys

You may come to a point in your life where you deem it appropriate and beneficial to consider appointing a power of attorney, or you may be thinking about helping a loved one to appoint a power of attorney. Doing so can be a great way to have peace of mind about the state of your loved one's finances and health care in future years.

However, there are many common misconceptions held about power of attorneys, and before starting the process of appointing one, it is a good idea to learn more about how they work. The following are some of the most common myths regarding power of attorneys.

The cost of creating a revocable trust in Massachusetts

When one makes a will, it must go through the process of probate, and therefore, the assets will take a long time to reach the beneficiaries. In addition, there will be costs deducted from the person's estate for the administration of the probate process. This is why keeping all assets in a will can be costly and why many people consider the benefits of opening a trust.

Creating a revocable trust, otherwise known as a living trust, can mean that you are able to gain financial privacy, since all wills are public documents. In addition to this, you will possibly be able to reduce your taxes and the use of your assets can be managed in the event of you becoming incapacitated.

The following should not be included in a will

While making a will is a positive and proactive decision to make sure that your wishes are heard at the end of your life, there are some things that should not be included in the will. This is because they are not legally recognized as part of a will. Some wishes must be dealt with using other strategies, for example, through the creation of a will or a trust.

If you are starting the process of creating a will in the state of Massachusetts, it is important to know the limits of what you can request, so that you can be prepared and know the other estate planning tools available.

Should I argue that a will is invalid?

When a person makes a will during his or her lifetime, it will be used after his or her death in the probate process. However, as a loved one dealing with the administration of the estate, you may come to believe that the will does not reflect your loved one's final wishes, and you may be upset about the inaccuracies that it portrays.

While the vast majority of wills goes through the probate process unchallenged, it is possible to successfully challenge a will; however, there must be a good reason for doing so, and only those who are set to benefit from the will as it stands will be able to challenge it. In order to be successful in this pursuit, it must be shown that the will was invalid in some way.

What are the benefits of an irrevocable trust?

When considering starting a trust in the state of Massachusetts, it is important that you make sure to research all of the different options and weigh the pros and cons of each. The best choice for you will depend on what exactly you want to achieve and your current as well as predicted financial situation.

Many people decide to set up an irrevocable living trust because they want to protect their assets and ensure that a certain family member will be the beneficiary in the future. Creating an irrevocable trust should not be a light decision as the name suggests. Once created, the trust cannot be undone.

Challenging a power of attorney in Massachusetts

When a person becomes ill and lacks the mental or physical capacity to make certain decisions, it can be difficult to give appropriate treatment based on the person's wishes. In addition, it can be impossible for the person to manage his or her finances. This is why another person may need to make decisions for them. This can be achieved through power of attorney (POA) status.

POA statuses are notoriously difficult to attain, because in theory, they are risky: They allow another person to make extremely important decisions of behalf of another. The exact powers of a POA can depend on the exact situation. But it is possible to challenge a POA if you are concerned about the well-being of another. The following are some situations in which a POA can be challenged.

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