Preparing a will is an important estate planning tool to prepare for your future. Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it also ensures that your family knows your wishes. A Worcester will attorney can help you prepare a will that accomplishes your goals, makes your intent clear, and protects your assets.

What Is A Will?

A will is a legally binding document that details a person’s wishes for the distribution of assets and other key matters such as guardianship for minor children. Any individual aged 18 or older and of sound mind is authorized to make a will in Massachusetts.

 

What Needs To Be Included In A Will?

To ensure that a will is binding and comprehensive, it should include the following elements:

  • Personal information including name, birth date, address, aliases, and the names of immediate family members.
  • Clear statement of intent to pass along property after death such as “This document serves as my last will and testament.”
  • Clear statement of your assets and who should receive them. Also consider including a contingent beneficiary in case you are pre-deceased by the intended beneficiary. You can bequeath the entirety of your estate to one person or designate certain assets for certain individuals, institutions, or charities.
  • Appointment of the person designated to carry out the terms of your will. This person is called the executor or personal representative.
  • Appointment of a guardian if you have minor children or other dependents.
  • Signatures from you (the testator) and two witnesses.

It is important to ensure all required elements are included and clearly detailed so that your will is easy to interpret and enforceable after your death.

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ESTATE & MEDICAID PLANNING ATTORNEY IN WORCESTER, MA

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Hi, my name is Polly Tatum…

I help people protect what they care about most through estate planning. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, special needs planning — whatever YOUR specific situation requires — I can help.

As with most things in life, the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be. 

Whether you already have a will and an estate plan in place that need to be updated, or you are getting started for the first time, you have come to the right place.

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When Do I Need To Create A Will For My Estate Plan?

A will benefits any individual who has assets they would like distributed in a certain way after their death and should not be put off. The following groups of people should prioritize creating a will:

  • Married couples, especially if you want anyone who is not your spouse to receive any of your assets
  • Parents of minor children to ensure that your children inherit your belongings and to designate the guardian of your choosing
  • Individuals with a positive net worth because you will have assets to distribute

If you aren’t sure if you need a will, schedule a consultation with a Worcester will attorney to discuss.

How Can A Worcester Will Attorney Help?

A will attorney will work with you to understand your goals for your assets and family and to create a plan to accomplish them.

Create a Comprehensive Estate Plan

While creating a will sounds simple, it requires extensive analysis and understanding of everything you own. Your lawyer will work with you to:

  • List all of your valuable assets, including bank accounts, investments, retirement plans, real estate, personal property, and insurance policies
  • Designate beneficiaries and secondary beneficiaries
  • Assess scenarios where you are unsure what you want to do and address those in your will
  • Execute and store documents
  • Update the plan over time as your circumstances change

Your attorney will be an important sounding board as you address questions you might not have thought of previously about your estate and your preferences after your death.

Wills Involving High-Value Assets

Wills become even more complicated when they involve high-value assets that raise tax laws and tax liabilities that could affect your beneficiaries. If you have high-value assets, work with a lawyer to craft a will that protects inheritances for your beneficiaries, minimizes wealth transfer taxes such as estate taxes and gift taxes, and avoids the probate process.

Avoiding Loopholes and Contested Wills

After putting time and attention in your will, the last thing you want is to have it contested after your death. A lawyer will ensure that there are no loopholes that would allow a potential beneficiary to contest your will. Common bases for contesting a will include:

  • Lack of legal capacity, for example, minors or lack of mental capacity
  • Undue influence such as pressure or coercion of an elderly parent
  • Fraud or forgery
  • Claim of a more recent will
  • Execution errors such as insufficient witness signatures

 

Complicated Inheritance Situations

Certain factors can muddy the waters of inheritance, including:

  • Marital strife or separation but no divorce
  • Children from multiple marriages
  • Co-ownership of a business or other valuable assets
  • Disputes about intended beneficiaries

A well-drafted will can help avoid these complicated scenarios and the strike they could cause between family members.

Finding the Best Worcester Will Attorney For You

It is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney when you are preparing a will. A lawyer well versed in the complicated issues that can arise is best suited to listen to your concerns and prepare a will that addresses them. Contact a Worcester will attorney today to schedule a consultation to discuss drafting your will.

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