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Salem Massachusetts Estate Planning Law Blog

Understanding inheritance tax in Massachusetts

Taxes are imposed on almost all types of income, whether that is your paycheck from work or an inheritance from a loved one. When a person is planning their estate, they will naturally want to minimize the amount of taxes they will be liable for, because the more taxes they pay, the less there will be left to go to their beneficiaries.

It is important, therefore, that as an estate planner, you understand what taxes your estate will likely be liable for at the end of your life. This will help you initiate strategies in order to lower taxes and maximize your beneficiaries' inheritance.

Planning your estate with your special needs child in mind

Estate planning often starts with assessing how you would like the future to look like for your loved ones. When you have a special needs child, this is likely to mean that you will want to make sure that they have access to adequate care and support throughout their lives. As a parent, you may not always be able to care for your special needs child in person, but you can set up your estate to ensure that they are always protected.

Many people consider creating a special needs trust for their children. This is because special needs trusts allow the flexibility for individual needs to be addressed. If you are a special needs parent in the state of Massachusetts, it is important that you take your time in understanding your options so that you can make the best decision possible.

Planning a trust as a business owner

Any person with considerable assets should start to think about planning their estate as early as possible. If you are a business owner, it is likely that you will want to leave a legacy for your descendants and that you will hope the business will thrive for many years to come.

Whatever your wishes for your assets beyond your lifetime, it makes sense that you would want to minimize taxes and avoid probate as much as possible. By striving to do both, you will be able to maximize the assets left for your beneficiaries.

Preparing for an IRS audit

If you have an estate plan or trust, you may face being audited by the IRS at some point. This should be no cause for concern, but it should mean that you take the audit very seriously and that you prepare as much as you can.

Going through an audit means that you need all of the relevant documents at your disposal as well as the people that are involved in the creation of the trust or plan. The following are some key tips on preparing for an audit on your plan or trust in the state of Massachusetts.

Avoiding probate: The true cost of not having an estate plan

There are times when people may pass away without an estate plan or not have a fully funded revocable living trust. In those cases, the courts have no choice but to place assets into probate. While some may have designated beneficiaries, like life-insurance policies, others, like homes or vehicles, may not be included in any will or other estate documents.

The problem with probate is twofold. First, it takes time, and it causes your family a lot of stress. They have to go to the court for approval of the transfer of assets, which they otherwise would not need to do. This takes time. Even worse, they need to start the probate process the moment you pass away. That gives them little time to grieve without external stress.

What is the process of funding a trust?

There is a great deal of confusing terminology that comes with planning your estate. If you are considering starting a trust, you may wonder what it means to fund one. All living trusts need to be funded before they are considered to be fully functioning trusts.

If you are starting to consider creating a trust in Massachusetts, it is a good idea to conduct thorough research and get familiar with the terminology. That can help you be prepared and equipped with the knowledge that you need.

How do I revoke a will in Massachusetts?

In everyone's life, things change over the years. Relationships form and dissolve, and as time goes by, you may realize that the will you made decades ago no longer adequately reflects your wishes. Therefore, you may want to change your will or revoke it completely in order to make a new one.

In the state of Massachusetts, revoking a will is less complicated than you might think. It does not require any formal paperwork or an acknowledgement that this will has been revoked. Simply and quite crudely speaking, all that is required is that you destroy the will that you have made.

Why estate planning should start in your 20s

Many people think that estate planning is something to be considered when you reach retirement age. However, the best way to plan your estate is to do so throughout your lifetime. This will help you ensure that your loved ones will benefit from your wishes for them in the event of a tragedy.

If you have a family, you want to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of no matter what. By planning your estate early, you are able to have peace of mind that everything is in place. It also means that you will be able to adjust your estate plan throughout your lifetime in order to adjust to changes in circumstances.

Going through the probate process without a will

If a person passes away and they have not made a will at the time of their death, they are referred to under the law as dying intestate. When a person dies intestate, the probate court usually deals with the situation, and there are certain benefits to this.

If you have a loved one who died without a will or if you want to learn more about how the probate process functions, it is important to learn about the individual steps that are taken in the probate process.

Drafting a living will in Massachusetts

When a person is suffering from an illness that is expected to lead to further deterioration of his or her health in the future, it is likely that he or she will consider how estate assets as well as health care will be managed in the future. Sometimes, a terminal illness or an illness that affects mental capacity means that people are not able to make informed decisions in regard to their medical treatment. This is why many people in this situation decide to create a health care directive.

A health care directive is also known as a living will, and it is put in place to direct medical care for possible future situations when the creator of the living will becomes mentally or physically incapacitated. Living wills are recognized across the United States; however, it is vital that all formalities are followed so that the will is valid.

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

Phone: 978-224-8893
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