A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about an estate that was challenged due to some irregularities with the will. Along with that post, we have talked extensively in the weeks since about wills and how they impact your estate, let alone the possible legal ramifications of a will should your heirs or beneficiaries challenge it. Which leads us to our question for today: on what grounds can someone challenge a will?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, today men and women are waiting longer to marry and some are foregoing marriage altogether and opting instead to remain in long-term and committed relationships. In cases where one individual in a committed relationship is involved in a serious car accident or passes away suddenly, his or her partner may have few to no legal rights with regard to making important medical decisions or inheriting personal belongings or assets.
When most people think about creating an estate plan they think about drafting a will. A last will and testament is a legal document that is used to establish your wishes and how you want your legacy to be passed down to heirs and beneficiaries after you pass away. A will can address important issues such as who should have guardianship of your minor children if you and the other parent are no longer able to care for them yourselves.
In just a couple of short weeks, the Thanksgiving holiday will be upon us. As families throughout the Boston area gather to give thanks and spend quality time with one another, it may also be a good time to discuss some weightier topics including aging parents’ plans with regard to estate planning matters.
It seems like everything else can be done on a smartphone app these days. Why not estate planning?
In many families, money, with regard to how much individual family members make and have, is a taboo subject. Discussing one's wealth and assets or lack thereof, can be an uncomfortable topic and this can be especially true for parents who struggle to discuss topics related to their personal wealth and the transfer of that wealth with grown children.
While same sex marriage has been allowed in Massachusetts for over 10 years, the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the legality of such unions, has brought to light some of the matters that same sex-couples should address. For example, LGBT couples need to make sure that their estate plan adequately reflects their wishes regarding their spouse.
Upon hearing the term estate planning, many people experience feelings of anxiety and worry. Let's face it, no one wants to think about their own mortality and many people solely equate the estate planning process with just that. In reality, there are numerous reasons why, regardless of age or health, it's important to take steps to establish an estate plan.
There are many unknowns in life. These uncertainties become especially apparent when one contemplates his or her future long-term care and health needs. While there's no way to predict the future or truly know how much money you'll need or be able to leave to your loved ones, estate planning helps an individual gain more control over both his or her future as well as the financial security of surviving heirs.
Many Massachusetts residents would likely consider a will to be the most important estate planning document. In many cases, a last will and testament serves as the cornerstone of a comprehensive estate plan and provides directives for the distribution of an individual's property, assets and personal belongings.