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Estate plan musing: how to begin thinking about things

As noted by a contributor to a recent national piece on estate administration, the planning inclination for many individuals and couples is dulled by narrowly focused objectives regarding their kids.

More specifically, that means this, as posed in the form of a rhetorical query: If my children all get along and I'm simply leaving everything to them, what need do I have for any detailed planning after I've got a will in place?

Well, consider this, says financial writer Janis Cowhey: Although one of your beloved children might make an inheritance last for a lifetime, his or her sibling could blow through the entirety of bequeathed assets in a marked hurry.

In other words, stresses Cowhey, note well "that not everyone is good with money" and that you might reasonably want to insert some controls over how your assets are parceled out.

Enter trusts. Like a legion of other commentators on estate planning, Cowhey lauds the power and creativity linked with a trust and the myriad ways in which a creator can structure it to provide in a desired manner for one or more loved ones.

Working together with a seasoned estate administration attorney can potentially yield many trust-linked benefits that a planner never knew existed.

Among other things, a carefully tailored and drafted trust can ensure that assets are released at specified times (e.g., upon marriage, during college, when a baby is born and so forth). It can control the amount of money that is distributed. A trust can ensure far more privacy than the probate process ever can. It can shield an heir from creditors, designate proceeds as separate property and promote a host of other desired outcomes.

As we duly note on our Andover estate planning website at The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, every client has distinct and even unique needs. Wills, trusts and other planning tools and strategies can be candidly and confidentially discussed with a proven estate administration attorney.

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The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen
21 Central Street
Andover, MA 01810

Phone: 978-494-6730
Phone: 978-409-1928
Fax: 978-849-8212
Map & Directions

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We are in a 1700s Colonial located on the intersection between Brook Street, Central Street and Essex Street in historic downtown Andover, Massachusetts. The parking lot entrance is located on Brook Street, which is a one-way. From Central, turn down Essex Street. Before reaching the railroad tracks, when you see the St. Augustine Church on your right, take a sharp left turn on to Brook Street, which will turn you back toward Central Street. As you ascend the hill back toward Central Street, you will see large stone pillars on either side of the entrance to our parking lot. We have assigned parking spaces numbered 7 and 10.

From the parking lot, you may take the stairs located on the rear, left-side of the building up to the garden area, where the foyer entrance to our office is located. You can also follow the sidewalk on Brook Street up to Central Street, walk along Central Street past the main house entrance (with a wrought iron gate across the walk way) to an opening in the wrought iron fence, in to the garden area where the foyer entrance to our office is located.