Have you thought about who you wish to leave your assets to when you die? Have you considered what you want your end-of-life care to be like, or who should make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated. While these are not necessarily cheerful thoughts to have, putting estate planning documents in place to prepare for the future not only provides you with a peace of mind, but your loved ones with the ability to accept your assets without an expensive legal hassle involved. A Harvard estate planning lawyer can assist you in creating a thorough and up-to-date estate plan.
Even if you aren’t a millionaire, you have an estate, and it consists of everything of value that you own, including your car, home and other property, business, bank and retirement accounts, and personal possessions. Estate planning is the act of putting a series of documents in place in order to designate individuals or organizations to whom you wish to leave your estate upon your death. However, a good estate plan provides even more benefits, including allowing you to leave instructions for your care and financial affairs if you should become incapacitated. A thorough estate plan also includes provisions to provide for family members with special needs without impacting the benefits they are able to obtain through government programs, and minimizes the taxes and costs associated with your beneficiaries accepting your assets.
Unfortunately, no one knows what is going to happen in the future or when that future will begin. Individuals often delay estate planning because they think they have plenty of time to worry about it when they’re older. However, if they become incapacitated or die before putting an estate plan in place, the state will appoint a guardian to oversee your care and divide your assets according to intestacy laws, often through a probate hearing, without consideration to what your desires for your assets and your end-of-life care.
A last will and testament is generally the first document generated in an estate plan and one of the most important, as it names an executor to oversee the distribution of your estate. This document also provides instructions on how you would like to have the assets divided and names the individual you want to care for your minor children in the event of your death. Other important documents include:
It is worth noting that the most important and impactful documents you can have in your estate plan are those that are regularly updated to reflect all of the big changes, such as getting married or divorced, or having a child.
Obtaining the guidance and services of a Harvard estate planning lawyer is crucial for ensuring that you have the documents in place and regularly updated so that when the time comes that these documents are needed, your affairs are in order and clear instructions are provided as to your wishes. Your Harvard estate planning lawyer can also help you obtain tax benefits through your estate plan or to ensure that your beneficiaries are able to receive these assets in as inexpensive and stress-free way as possible.
Let an experienced estate planning attorney help you prepare for your future by ensuring that you have the required estate planning documents in place. Contact us for a consultation.
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I help people protect what they care about most. If you are ready to start getting your estate plan in place, I can help.
As with most things in life, the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be.
Whether you have already started thinking about how you want your estate to be handled, or you are just now realizing you need a plan, you have come to the right place.
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Also known as an estate law attorney, a Harvard estate planning lawyer has a thorough understanding of state and federal laws and how they impact how your assets are valued, distributed, and taxed after your death. They use this understanding in order to assist you in preparing the documents necessary for your estate plan. The types of services a Harvard estate planning lawyer provides include:
Some of the questions you should ask an estate planning lawyer include:
A thorough plan will have, at the very minimum, these documents:
A complete estate plan will also include the consideration of insurance products that will cover long-term care and life insurance to pass to beneficiaries without the need for probate.
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