Estate Planning Lawyer Helping Residents in New Bedford, Easton & Hyannis
Estate planning can help to achieve a number of important objectives, not the least of which are preserving your wealth, providing for your loved ones, and planning for long-term care. Regardless of your financial status or family circumstances, the best way to protect your assets and your legacy is to consult an experienced estate planning attorney.
Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. provides comprehensive estate planning services to clients in Southern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the Islands. Our legal team is well-versed in the applicable trust and estate laws and is highly regarded for adhering to the highest ethical standards. When you partner with us, we will work closely with you to design an estate plan that suits your unique needs and goals.
The Experienced Choice in Estate Planning
We believe that there is no “one-size-fits-all” estate plan. Nonetheless, a well-conceived plan will include, at a minimum, a will, a durable power of attorney, and a healthcare proxy. Our experienced professionals routinely prepare a variety of essential estate planning documents, including:
- Last Will and Testament (Will) — A will is the most basic estate planning document. It declares how your property will be managed and distributed after you die. In addition, a will is the only way to name a guardian to care for your minor children. If you fail to create a will, the probate court will intervene to make these determinations according to the intestacy laws of Massachusetts, which may not agree with your wishes and may not protect your assets.
- Durable Power of Attorney — This document allows to you name a trusted person, either a family member or close associate, to manage your personal and business affairs (e.g. paying bills, managing property, monitoring investments), in the event that a physical or mental impairment leaves you incapacitated.
- Advance Medical Directive — Also known as a healthcare proxy, this crucial incapacity planning tool allows you to designate an agent to coordinate your medical care with your doctor, according to your preferences, if you are incapacitated and unable to communicate.
- Revocable Living Trust — A living trust is a trust that takes ownership of your property but also allows you to continue managing it during your lifetime. Unlike a will, a trust does not need to be probated since you no longer “own” the assets, which can save time and money, and also maintain the privacy of the financial arrangements. Another benefit of a living trust is that it can help to plan for incapacity while also minimizing estate tax consequences. It is worth noting that a trust must go through an administrative phase to carry out its terms.
- Irrevocable Trust — Unlike a living trust, an irrevocable trust is one that cannot be modified or altered during your lifetime, however, an irrevocable trust also avoids probate. This important estate planning tool is well-suited for those who wish to provide for a loved one with special needs, to plan for long-term care, to protect their assets from creditors’ claims or to achieve other important estate planning objectives.
- Living Will — This form of advance medical directive, though not legally binding, declares the type of end-of-life care you wish to receive or have withheld, such as a feeding tube or a ventilator, if you are terminally ill or incapacitated and cannot communicate those decisions.
- Guardianships — This estate planning tool can be established to protect an adult or minor who is incapable of caring for him or herself due to a serious injury, an incapacitating physical illness, or another medical condition.
While confronting our own mortality is not pleasant, creating an estate plan is a responsible way to prepare for the expected and the unexpected. Through the years, many clients have come to us never having prepared a will, and they are not alone — more than 60 percent of adults in the U.S. don’t have a will. When you work with the experienced professionals at Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., we will take the time to understand your circumstances and help design an estate plan that considers all of your objectives.
Call Our Southern Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorney
At Surprenant & Beneski P.C., we believe that estate planning is for everyone. Our attorneys work with clients from all walks of life to establish estate plans that will protect their interests and their loved ones. Whether you only need a will-based estate plan or can benefit from a more complex trust-based plan, you will have confidence knowing that our legal team is here to guide you through the process. We also have extensive experience designing business succession plans for family businesses and owners of professional practices as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy. Today is the day to start planning your estate. Please contact our office to set up a consultation.