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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Things to Know About Wills and Trusts

POSTED ON: May 26, 2023

Businessman looking through a magnifying glass to documents.

Preparing your estate can be a daunting task. Even the process of choosing a will, trust, or a combination of documents can be confusing without a lawyer to guide you through it.

At The Heritage Law Center, attorney Matthew Karr is here to help guide you through this process. If you have questions about wills and trusts and need personalized answers, we’re here to help.

What Is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is the collection of documents that outline your desires for your assets in case you’re incapacitated or pass away. These documents are key for your loved ones, who will reference your estate plan to receive directions about how you would like them to handle the situation.

There are several facets to estate plans, including wills, trusts, health care proxies, and powers of attorney.

What Happens if I Die Without an Estate Plan?

If you pass away without leaving behind a will or doing any other form of legally accepted estate planning, the Massachusetts government will declare you intestate and will decide who inherits what you’ve left behind.

This means that, when your estate goes through probate, you won’t have any opportunities to decide where your assets go. They’ll instead be distributed according to state law, which may not align with your wishes. Building an estate plan now helps you maintain control over your assets and ensure your wishes are respected.

What Is Probate?

A formal court proceeding that legally determines who is entitled to inherit your property and savings is called probate. It proves that the will left behind by the deceased is valid and follows all the rules of Massachusetts law to make it legitimate. After the will is validated by the probate court, the court appoints an individual to act as executor of the will.

This process can leave your family waiting for the assets you left behind, and it may take away from the funds you left them, leaving them with less than you intended. Fortunately, avoiding probate is possible. Reach out to an attorney who can help you plan for the future.

How a Trust Can Help You

A trust is an agreement that allows a third party to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts can be used to limit the amount of money lost to estate taxes. They can also be used if the beneficiary has yet to reach a certain age, and the will owner does not want them to access the money until they’ve become an adult.

Learn More with an Estate Planning Attorney

If you want to help protect your assets and ensure they go to your loved ones in the future, it may be time to start creating your estate plan. At The Heritage Law Center, attorney Matthew Karr is committed to helping people prepare for their future with compassion and professionalism.

Get in touch today by calling 617-299-6976 or fill out our convenient online form to request a free consultation. Take charge of your future and your family’s needs.