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5 Estate Planning FAQs

At Surprenant & Beneski, PC, we’ve helped many clients create estate plans that serve them well. We understand that the thought of doing estate planning can seem overwhelming. We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand the process better. Everyone can benefit from planning for the future.

1. What Is An Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a group of legal documents that provide directions should you pass away or become incapacitated. Some estate plans are will-based and centered around a last will and testament. Others are trust-based and include a revocable or irrevocable trust. Estate plans can also include advance directives, living wills, kids protection plans, powers of attorneys or other documents appropriate to the strategy that best meets your needs. 

2. What Do I Need in My Estate Plan?

Your estate planning lawyer can help you determine exactly what you need in your estate plan. Every estate plan is as unique as each of our clients. Clients who own a business may consider transferring their business assets as part of their estate plans. Parents of adult children with special needs may benefit from establishing a special needs trust. Those who may require nursing home care in the future may need to consider MassHealth planning as part of their estate plan. Our legal team considers each of our clients’ goals and requirements so we can prepare an estate plan tailored to their unique needs.

3. When Should I Create an Estate Plan?

The best time to create an estate plan is now. During these uncertain times, it’s wise to ensure that you have prepared for the unexpected. Even those who are young and healthy benefit from creating an estate plan. Every basic estate plan should include a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Proxy. While advance directives are not recognized as legally enforceable in Massachusetts, they can be a critical guide for your family to understand your wishes after you’re gone. 

4. Do I Need an Estate Plan If I’m Not Wealthy?

Everyone benefits from creating an estate plan, regardless of their financial status. Young parents who are starting out need an estate plan to ensure that their children will be taken care of if they pass away unexpectedly. In fact, estate planning can help through-out all seasons of life. Without an adequate estate plan, your assets could become tied up in the probate process for a long period. If you pass away intestate or without a will in place, your loved ones may have difficulty accessing your assets while the probate court distributes your property. 

5. When Should I Update My Estate Plan?

It’s always a good idea to speak with your estate planning lawyer whenever you experience a significant life event. When you have a child, buy a home, start a business, get a divorce, receive an inheritance, or become diagnosed with a medical condition, you may benefit from updating your estate plan. These events could bring changes to your life that lead you to change the way you’d like your assets to be distributed after you are gone. Many of our clients rest easier, knowing that their estate plans are up-to-date and that they are prepared for what the future may bring.

Contact Surprenant & Beneski, PC Today

Creating a thorough estate plan will bring you and your loved one’s peace of mind. By creating an estate plan, you’re protecting your assets, and more importantly, your family. The attorneys at Surprenant & Beneski, PC, have decades of experience guiding clients through estate planning. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

©Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. 35 Arnold Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, 336 South Street,   Hyannis MA 02601 and 45 Bristol Drive, Easton MA 02375.  This article is for illustration purposes only.  This handout does not constitute legal advice.  There is no attorney/client relationship created with Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. by this article.  DO NOT make decisions based upon information in this handout.  Every family is unique and legal advice can only be given after an individual consultation with an elder law attorney.  Any decisions made without proper legal advice may cause significant legal and financial problems.