EXC Legal

Massachusetts Elder Care and Disability Advocates

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Estate Planning Services

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Wills:

A will directs the disposition of your estate after your death.  In your will, you will designate who will settle your estate as your personal representative, and to whom you want to leave your wealth, real estate and personal property.  You may also nominate a guardian for your minor or disabled children in your will.  If you die without a will, the laws of the state will determine how your property will be distributed.  The law in Massachusetts for probating wills has been improved recently, and many people are now less concerned about the time and expense involved with this legal process.

After reviewing your estate with our team, you will determine whether you require a new or updated will, and whether you might make take steps to avoid having certain aspects of your assets included in the probate process

Trusts:

While trusts offer tremendous advantages and opportunities, trust law is complex and can be confusing. Trusts are basically a way of holding property and can be used for many purposes. Federal and state courts and agencies have developed their own interpretations of the nature and use of trusts, and these policies and regulations change frequently.

Trusts may be revocable or irrevocable.  They may be used to provide gifts to individuals or to charities with specific directions to be carried out by your chosen Trustee.  Some trusts are created to avoid or to delay state and federal taxes. Certain trusts provide for the needs of individuals with disabilities without disqualifying them for essential public benefits such as Social Security and MassHealth.  Other trusts may contain only life insurance or real estate.

After identifying your needs and goals, we will offer advice on whether one or more trusts would be a helpful addition to your estate plan.

Health Care Proxies:

Too often the purpose of a Health Care Proxy is misunderstood as authorization to “pull the plug.”  In truth, the most important function of the Health Care Proxy is to assure you receive the treatment and care you want when you need it, even when you are unable to provide informed consent.

When you create a Health Care Proxy, you will be sure your medical clinicians know and honor your wishes regarding your care and treatment. You know the type of medical treatments you want and those you do not.  And you know who you trust to be sure your wishes are carried out, in the event you cannot do it for yourself.  In your Health Care Proxy, you will name a person you trust to serve as your health care agent if you should become unable to accept or to refuse medical treatment.  You may also name one or more alternatives in the event this person is unavailable.

Powers of Attorney:

The Power of Attorney is an essential component of every person’s estate plan.  This very powerful document appoints someone you trust to manage your financial affairs.  You may decide to authorize your financial agent to act immediately or you may prefer to authorize your financial agent only when you are unable to personally manage your finances.