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Salem Massachusetts Estate Planning Law Blog

Naming a guardian: An important part of estate planning

There is more to estate planning than creating a will or trust that helps pass your assets along to your loved ones after your death.

For example, you need to think long and hard about who will care for your children should you pass away before they reach age 18.

It’s essential to plan for the unexpected

When creating an estate plan, you need to turn your attention to your assets, what will happen to them upon your death, and how to take care of your loved ones after you are gone.

While there is nothing wrong with this approach, you can't overlook the fact that you need to also care for yourself while you're living. This includes things such as planning for an unexpected medical emergency.

The primary benefits of a power of attorney

When creating an estate plan, you'll probably think long and hard about what will happen to your assets upon your death. You may not spend nearly as much time learning more about the ways you can protect yourself while you're alive.

This is where a power of attorney document comes into play. With this, you're giving another person the power to make financial and/or legal decisions on your behalf. This is a big decision, so you don't want to rush through the process of creating this document.

A special needs trust can protect an autistic or disabled child

Most people with young children understand the importance of planning for their care in the event of death or incapacitation. For many families, a life insurance policy and carefully crafted will may be enough to protect the children and ensure they have care and assets for the future. However, if your family includes a child with autism, Down syndrome or another serious disability, a standard last will and estate plan may not suffice.

Special needs children grow up to become special needs adults, many of whom still require daily care and support. While some may be able to live on their own with minimal outside intervention, others will require extensive support systems and even around-the-clock care. Depending of the situation, it may be in your family's best interests to create a special needs trust to provide for and protect your child.

Thanks to the new tax law, you must answer these questions

With the new tax law in effect, you need to review many parts of your life. For example, this could have an impact on your estate plan.

While you could ignore the new law and hope for the best, this isn't the right approach. Instead, you need to review your estate plan as to determine if you should make any immediate changes.

Estate planning and digital assets: Things to think about

Estate planning can be complex on many fronts, especially if you have many assets to leave behind to your family.

While it's easy to focus on the most common assets, such as bank accounts and your family home, some people overlook the importance of making a plan for their digital assets.

James Brown’s estate: It’s still unsettled

Eleven years after his death, you would assume that James Brown's estate would have been settled by now. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Instead, things remain at a standstill.

It's been more than a decade since Brown passed on, yet none of his money has been distributed to the beneficiaries of his will, which includes underprivileged children.

Stepparents and estate problems

Stepparents are involved in approximately 50 percent of litigated estate disputes. These disputes usually relate to differences in opinion between the stepparent (usually stepmothers) and the stepchildren regarding estate distribution. It's important to consider this fact if you have remarried, if you're a stepparent and if children are involved as it could help you formulate your estate plan in a way that ensures your wishes are adhered to after you've passed.

It's doubtful that these kinds of conflicts are anything new under the sun. They are probably ancient in origin and largely born out of the way people feel entitled to the financial assets of their parents and/or their husbands and wives after losing them to death. Family arguments and disagreements over the distribution of estates are just as universally common as they are destructive.

3 benefits of choosing a revocable trust

A revocable trust has many benefits over a will. Even if you choose to have a will along with a trust, the trust still gives you additional protections that help keep your estate safe.

Revocable trusts give you more control over the future of your estate. You can make alterations when you want, making this a good choice if you're not sure how you want to finalize your estate for good. Here are three benefits to consider with revocable trusts.

What are the top benefits of a pet trust?

If you have a pet, there may come a point when you wonder what will happen to it in the event of your death.

While you are not required by law to create a pet trust, this is something that can bring many benefits to your life. Above all else, it will give you peace of mind in knowing that your pet will be taken care of in the event of your passing.

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Casey & Lundregan, P.C.
71 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970

Phone: 978-224-8893
Toll Free: 800-785-3588
Fax: 978-745-3607
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