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How to start the estate planning process

Estate planning may be an uncomfortable task to undertake. However, all Massachusetts residents will die at some point. Therefore, it is important to take time to determine how assets will be distributed after this happens. It can also be a good idea to think about what a person would want if he or she became mentally or physically incapacitated. An estate plan can be structured so that another person can make decisions for an incapacitated individual.

Proper planning may also make it possible to minimize the tax burden that surviving family members will need to endure. It can also help to protect assets from creditors who may make claims on money or property that was meant for a spouse or child. These and other questions may be easier to answer when a person is organized. Ideally, an individual will take time to gather financial records and other important documents.

Gathering bank account, mortgage and other statements can help a person get a sense of his or her net worth. From there, he or she can start to craft a plan that meets his or her needs or future goals. It is important that surviving family members know where they can find a copy of these statements or anything else that can help settle an estate in a timely manner.

Those who are starting the estate planning process may want to do so with the help of an attorney. This may make it easier to decide what type of documents to use and who should fill important roles like the executor or trustee.

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