While it might seem that estate planning goals are universal, some apply only to certain individuals and families. Also, even though the basic goals of those planning estates may be the same, the weight assigned to each goal may vary. To work collaboratively with your estate planning attorney, you must be able to convey your priorities when it comes to planning your future and to keep your attorney apprised of changes in those priorities as life intervenes.
If you reside in Southeastern Massachusetts, Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is the place to call for efficient, effective, empathic assistance. We have the experience and well-developed skills to create a unique estate plan that will work well for your particular financial and personal situation.
As you seek professional help in planning your estate, it is important to clarify your goals so you can communicate them. Taking a careful look at the common goals listed below can give you a good idea of which ones go at the top of your list.
Providing for Your Future
Estate planning is about managing the future, both the future you wish for and the future you hope never happens.
The former involves setting aside money for:
- Future travel
- Second home
- Education of your children or grandchildren
- Weddings, graduations, and other celebrations
Our attorneys can assist you in coordinating your savings so that they are most profitable. We will help you to establish trusts and make sure that you have enough money in bank accounts, investments, insurance, and pensions to see you through comfortably.
Preparing for Calamity
This means taking into account the possibility that something may go wrong — an accident, a medical event, or an illness. As adults, we have to prepare for such catastrophes. Our adept attorneys will make sure that you have the documents listed below that will protect you and your family if you should suddenly become incapacitated:
- Will to name your beneficiaries, designate a personal representative, and name a guardian for your minor children
- Durable power of attorney to name the person you authorize to manage your legal and financial matters if you become incapacitated
- Health care proxy to name the individual you want to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself
- Living will to state which types of medical care you want to have or refuse if you are critically ill
Providing for Your Loved Ones
In addition to making a will, you may have other concerns relative to providing for your loved ones, such as:
- Setting up a trust for a special needs child to make sure they remain eligible for government benefits while receiving generous supplements from you
- Setting up a trust for a beloved pet in case you predecease it
- Protecting a beneficiary who is irresponsible with money by creating a spendthrift trust
- Having sufficient life insurance to cover final expenses if you should die prematurely
- Having a trust so your loved ones have funds immediately available when they need them most
Protecting Your Assets From Probate
While probate is not a concern for those with modest incomes and simple estates, those with high-net-worth and complicated estate plans (e.g. those with multiple properties in other states or other countries) may have cause to worry about the long delays and high costs of an extended probate process. Our practiced lawyers will assist you in avoiding both with a well-crafted living trust.
Maintaining Your Privacy
A living (revocable) trust will also provide the benefit of protecting your privacy, since unlike a will, a trust is not a public document.
Arranging for Smooth Business Succession
Whether you plan to keep your business in the family when you retire, sell it, pass it on to a trusted associate or close it down, you need the strong guidance our attorneys can provide when it comes to creating a useful business succession plan.
Protecting Your Assets From Other Risks
Although only those with large estates (over $12.92 million) have to think about planning to lessen their federal estate taxes, others may want to discuss protecting their assets from creditors, ex-spouses, scam artists, and potential lawsuits. Our attorneys know precisely how to design trusts that will keep your money safe from such risks.
Contact Our Accomplished Estate Planning Attorneys Today
At Surprenant & Beneski, we have been in practice long enough to have worked with a wide variety of clients. We understand that your priorities are shaped by your upbringing, your occupation or profession, your income level, your talents, the size and nature of your family, and many other factors. Contact us now. We have the insight and flexibility to customize an estate plan just for you.