In some situations, we can handle matters without calling in a credentialed professional. For example, many, or even most, of us can, prune a hedge, help our young child with homework, or bandage a small cut. Nonetheless, the vast majority of us would have to contact an expert to take down a tall tree, explain trigonometry, or stitch a deep wound. The same principle applies to estate planning. This is why, if you reside in Southeastern Massachusetts, you probably need the services Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. can provide.
Factors that Complicate the Estate Planning Process
While a few individuals feel safe filling out an online template to create a will, most of us are uncomfortable with procedures that may miss crucial elements of the estate planning process or may not be legally viable. Individuals, couples, and families who are in any of the following categories have cause to be especially wary:
Parents in Blended and/or LGBTQ Families who may have pressing concerns about making certain that stepchildren, stepparents, or stepsiblings are included or omitted from their will, depending on their ages, financial circumstances, and how much history the stepparent has with them.
Parents in blended and/or LGBTQ families for whom it is critical that children from a former marriage, relationship, or liaison are named as beneficiaries.
Spouses or Partners Whose Family Has Rejected Their Mates: If you are a spouse or partner whose family is unaccepting of your present marriage or partnership. You may fear that your family will likely contest your will or try to interfere with you if you have to take on full child custody or management of family finances during your partner’s health crisis
High-Net-Worth Individuals or Couples Trying to Protect Assets: If you are a high-net-worth couple or individual trying to protect your assets from excessive taxation, creditors, lawsuits, or scam artists, you will need trust attorneys who know exactly how to set up protective trusts. Capable estate planning attorneys will also know how to handle any multiple properties, overseas bank accounts, or investments you may have.
Business Owners With Large Corporations or whom talented estate planning professionals have the ability to protect your assets as well as to make certain your legal business succession plan is fully sustainable.
Those Responsible for Children or Other Relatives with Special Needs: Keen estate planning lawyers will help you to set up special needs trusts to protect your special needs loved one’s assets and to maintain his or her government benefits in spite of any inheritance.
Individuals Helping to Plan the Estate of a Loved One With Dementia whom they need to protect from those who would take advantage of her or his diminished capacity.
Individuals Who Want to Make Sure a Beloved Friend or Caretaker Is Protected from a contested will and maintains major beneficiary status.
Individuals Who Want to Disinherit an Immediate Family Member. If the person you want to disinherit is your spouse, this may be harder or impossible in some states (community property states) than others, except where your spouse has agreed to this arrangement in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
You Are Presently a Medicaid Recipient and the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program may attempt to reclaim portions of your estate unless a competent elder law attorney has set up your estate plan to protect your assets so they can be passed on to your family securely when you die.
Reading this list, you have probably realized that most families are part of “the new normal,” in which “atypical” families have become increasingly common. With about half of all couples divorcing, and many of them remarrying, and with same-sex marriage legal, about a third of American families are now blended to some degree.
Moreover, with people living longer, incapacity is often a more prolonged period than it used to be. All of these changes in American households require knowledgeable estate planning attorneys like those at Surprenant & Beneski. Call us today for a reassuring, informative appointment.