At our firm, we view estate planning as an opportunity to celebrate your life and all that you have built. Creating an estate plan affords you the opportunity to plan for the future of those you love and to ensure they will be protected and receive assets you have worked hard throughout your lifetime to acquire. Estate planning gives you the peace of mind of knowing that when your time comes, your wishes will be known, understood and respected.
Having a comprehensive estate plan in place allows you and your family to have clarity around what will happen when you die. We have outlined a few of the greatest benefits of having an estate plan below.
- Save time and money by avoiding probate.
The probate process can subject your estate to significant administrative and legal fees. As a general rule, the higher the value of your estate, the higher the cost. The total cost of all probate court fees generally lands between 3% and 8% of the total value of your assets. That’s a significant chunk!
Probate also takes a long time. The exact amount of time it takes will depend on your individual circumstances, but a formal probate in Massachusetts takes at least 12 months, and often take longer. That’s 12 months that your assets will not be available to your family or young children for purposes of education, clothing, or activities.
You can save your loved ones a significant amount of time and money by being proactive and getting an estate plan in place.
- Your loved ones will be certain about your desires for your belongings.
Some belongings that have value to you and your family might not have value in the eyes of probate court. If you pass away without a plan for your estate, your loved ones will not be sure of your desires for the inheritance of family heirlooms. For example, two of your children may both have their eyes on great-grandma’s old rocking chair. After a death, emotions run high and your loved ones may feel much more upset about these matters than they would otherwise. They are likely to argue among themselves and endure a lot of stress. Luckily, you can save them the emotional turmoil by leaving behind clear directions.
- You can protect your children even after you’re gone.
Including a Kids Protection Plan® in your estate plan will name long-term guardians (the people who will raise, love and care for your kids until they are adults) and short-term guardians (the friends and neighbors close to your home who can stay with your kids until your long term guardians arrive) for your kids. Make sure you also carry a Family Emergency ID Card in your purse or wallet that lists the names and telephone numbers of your short-term guardians. Whether you have $5 or $50 million, a Kids Protection Plan is necessary if you have kids at home under the age of 18.
- You can provide for those you love most.
With a trust, you can make sure the people you love and care about; mentors, friends, life partners (if you are not legally married), will inherit assets or property. Everyone you care about will be included. Without a trust, your “estate” will go through probate and will be distributed by someone who doesn’t understand or know your wishes and desires.
- Your end-of-life wishes will be respected.
Estate planning can also help you while you are still alive. Most people have strong preferences about their end-of-life care. Is it your wish to be kept alive if you can no longer breathe on your own? With a comprehensive estate plan, which would include incapacity documents such as a living will, health care proxy and durable power of attorney, your loved ones will know exactly how you would want to spend your final days and have no doubt about how you would want them to handle your medical and financial affairs.
Call Us Today!
Our team can help you celebrate the life you’ve created, plan for the future, and leave a gift to everyone who is important to you. Don’t delay. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Contact us at (978) 263-6900 to schedule your consultation.