Paradoxically, it might be conducive to any discussion focused on the parameters of estate planning -- most centrally what it chiefly entails -- to cite immediately what it is not.
And that is this: a narrow area of the law in Massachusetts and nationally that deals almost exclusively with the protection of amassed wealth for older individuals and couples.
Concededly, estate planning and administration does often spotlight that demographic and that specific issue, but it is far more utilitarian than that.
And it applies to virtually anyone who has ever given it a moment's thought.
And even to those who have never pondered for an instant how a well-tailored and sound planning strategy can promote best interests across a veritable ocean of important matters.
As a young married couple, for example, key questions can arise regarding how your children will be taken care of if an unexpected life-changing event occurs. A will and other planning instruments can address that matter and provide fundamental assurances that materially induce peace of mind.
Trusts, too, can be used in myriad and widely adaptable ways in the planning process. A trust can promote family privacy, help a creator lawfully avoid certain taxes, keep assets and property out of the time-consuming and public probate process, attend to loved ones' special needs and accomplish a multitude of other goals.
Estate planning also addresses health care needs and concerns, providing special instructions, naming individuals who can step in if necessary to make important decisions and helping families find ways to afford necessary health care in later years.
The above planning-related variables are merely representative of what can be broadly accomplished by working closely with a proven, focused and empathetic estate planning attorney.
Education is empowerment in the planning realm. Knowledgeable legal counsel can help individuals and families with planning needs implement strategies that optimally promote their best interests.