While we are all safe at home, a lot of things we took for granted just a few short weeks ago, have had to be sidelined until the current health situation has subsided. One of those things is the ability to go meet with your attorney, without fear of health risk. While we have been undertaking measures to safely execute estate planning documents, exercising distancing while still being in the physical presence of two witnesses and a notary, when required under Massachusetts law, a new statute eases these requirements.
At The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, we are changing the way we work with clients during this time, because as always, the health and well-being of our clients and employees are our top priority. In this time of 'social distancing' we are working remotely, offering telephone and videoconferencing to our clients. We have also established several protocols to execute estate planning documents in a manner that is as safe as possible. While we have implements temporary changes in the way we work, it will not make drafting or changing a plan impossible.
Sound estate planning for most individuals and families across Massachusetts is arguably about far more than simple will execution and a focus upon asset distribution. Although such a confined focus may be all that is deemed necessary in some instances, most people have planning concerns that require a crafted strategy across a broader dimension.
A recent article on timely attending to estate planning concerns that might loom large in the future underscores that. It notes the unpleasant reality that can result when an individual encountering something like pronounced mental and/or physical impairment has not taken any in-advance steps to respond to such a situation.
An estate plan has the potential to leave a legacy or to leave a legendary fight. When done correctly, the assets of one person will transition seamlessly to loved ones, next of kin and younger generations. When done haphazardly, it can spawn fights and rekindle old disputes, putting sibling against sibling, children against parents, and conflict among all manner of relationships.
Relationships are already complex in a blended family, where adult children may not be as close to their stepmother, or stepchildren may have never lived in the family home due to their age upon your remarriage or an agreement with their genetic parents. There are all manner of relationships: by blood, marriage and personal bond.
Individuals and families in Massachusetts and nationally that are thoughtfully focused upon estate planning often have numerous questions regarding trusts.
Those queries run a wide gamut, and that is understandable. There are many types of trusts, with the instrument collectively commanding a broad-based utility. That is, trusts can be employed as impressively flexible legal tools to promote any number of key planning goals.
An article written by a financial planner specializing in divorce stresses these two key points regarding dissolutions involving special needs children:
- Such divorces "are significantly more complex to negotiate" than most others; and
- Many divorce attorneys understandably do not command a full understanding of how to best help a parent obtain results that will optimally benefit their special needs child long-term
Our above headline leading off today's post certainly doesn't apply to all -- or even most - Massachusetts estate planners. Indeed, the majority of individuals in the Bay State and nationally work for businesses they themselves do not own.
Having said that, though, the enduring American entrepreneurial spirit virtually ensures that many people do strike out on their own commercially. And many of them succeed in their business creations through creative smarts and sweat equity.
Would-be conservators and people just generally interested in the role played by such persons might assume that it features quite a bit of detail and complexity.
Actual conservators in Massachusetts don't simply suspect that. Rather, they know it to be true from experience.
Estate planning can be a sticky business. Who wants to contemplate their death and consider who gets what? That’s probably why only around 45 percent of adults have a will.
Unfortunately, putting your head in the sand won’t be helpful to your loved ones. Questions about what your wishes are will have to be answered by relatives after you are gone. They may not guess correctly. They might even argue about it while trying to grieve your loss.
Out with the old, in with the new.
That adage certainly applies in January and the early months of any new year for legions of Americans focused on revising and updating select elements of their lives.