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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Things to Know About Massachusetts Elder Law

POSTED ON: May 26, 2023

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As we age, we must learn and stay up-to-date on legislation designed to aid and protect us so that our rights are respected. To avoid legal issues and gain the best protection, Massachusetts residents must understand how state elder law can impact their lives.

Unsure what you need to know about elder law? Attorney Matthew Karr at The Heritage Law Center has the answers. Reach out for the guidance you need when you’re trying to take the right steps for yourself or trying to aid an older loved one.

Massachusetts Seniors Have Rights

Seniors have the right to autonomy, independence, and self-determination. As long as they can understand the repercussions, older people can still handle their own affairs. Massachusetts seniors are also protected against age-based discrimination, including financial exploitation and abuse. They also have the right to informed medical consent and respectful care.

Due to mental or physical decline, however, elderly people may need guardianship or conservatorship. If an individual needs help with these problems, the court will evaluate the need, ability to pay, compliance with state guardianship and conservatorship regulations, and more.

Massachusetts Guardianship and Caregivers

The legal caregiver of an older person is typically a trustworthy family member or friend. Massachusetts law allows court-appointed caregivers to offer help and make choices for their elderly loved ones.

Seniors are more likely to be used by scam artists who may take their funds from them, so having a guardian can protect them. Guardians can also choose programs and services for the elderly and ensure their health.

Considering elderly carers and guardians is crucial to ensuring older individuals in Massachusetts have access to resources. Moving forward, families should collaborate with the older person to establish what kind of care they would like and how to best deliver it.

Applying for Guardianship or Conservatorship

There are several factors to consider when applying for guardianship or conservatorship. These include finding suitable agents (if legally required), determining if there are other options (such as durable powers of attorney), and understanding MassHealth eligibility rules.

Before making complex judgments like these, consult a professional. A well-thought-out guardianship or conservatorship plan can protect an aging loved one while honoring their wishes.

After creating a guardianship and conservatorship plan, Massachusetts families may choose to continue estate planning. Estate planning guarantees that a deceased person’s assets are handled how they intend. An elder law attorney can help families write trusts, update wills, or create new ones to protect their loved one’s assets before death.

Estate Planning

Those concerned about their assets can prepare an estate plan, so their assets are accounted for following their deaths. Massachusetts’ probate and estate administration statutes make estate planning more complicated. A Massachusetts court-approved estate plan requires legal requirements.

Wills are one of the most common estate planning tools, but trusts can preserve assets and reduce taxes. An attorney can review the pros and cons of each and how they can be used in your estate plan. Massachusetts requirements must be followed to make these documents legitimate. Estate planning paperwork should also be updated routinely to comply with Massachusetts laws.

An estate plan can provide people peace of mind that their wishes will be carried out after they die. Massachusetts families may protect their finances and commemorate their loved ones with this thorough estate planning method.

Know Your Options for Estate Planning with an Attorney

Whether you’re a Massachusetts senior planning ahead, or whether you’re the loved one of an older person, understanding state elder laws can help you navigate the future and take care of your loved ones. Unfortunately, elder law can be tricky, and ensuring you’re taking care of yourself and your family can be tricky.

At The Heritage Law Center, attorney Matthew Karr is prepared to make sure you know everything you need to know about your estate plan and how to use it. If you’re ready to work on your plan, reach out for help by calling 617-299-6976 or by completing the online contact form below.