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Estate Planning

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Trustees, Beneficiaries, and Cake

Have you heard the expression "you can't have your cake and eat it too?" Do you know what it really means? I don't.  But I'm going to use the distinction between "having" and "eating" cake to explain the difference between Trustees and Beneficiaries.


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Monday, May 26, 2014

5 reasons why you might need a will

There are lots of reasons why a will is one of the documents that every person should have.  Here are 5 of them:

1)  You own real estate.  A will can make your heirs' lives easier by avoiding the necessity of a "license to sell" from the court, if selling turns out to be necessary.

2)  You own anything in your own name.  A will can specify what is done with anything you die owning in your own name.

3) You own everything jointly with another person.  A will can specify what happens to the property if that person dies, and then you do.

4) You own everything in a trust.  The trust only governs property that has the trust's name on it.  If you receive an inheritance, or if you die owning something (like a car, perhaps) that is not in the name of the trust, a will can provide your instructions.

5) You want your body to be cremated.  Otherwise, all next of kin will have to approve cremation.

 

 

 

Of course, there are a lot of other reasons why people do wills.   Let me know what I left out, in the comments here , or on Facebook.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Documents Should Every Adult Have?

What documents do you really need?  This post lists the Four basic documents which every adult should have.


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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sign here, please.

"Sign here, please."   We are all confronted with this casual request fairly frequently - at the bank, at the doctor's office,  at the pharmacy.  Do we always know what we are signing?  Often, we are not even given an opportunity to read what we are agreeing to.


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Monday, January 7, 2013

An Often-Overlooked Medicaid Planning Strategy

A little known but very effective tool can allow you to set up a trust to protect your assets from Medicaid after you die.  By integrating it with your existing planning, a very favorable result can be obtained with little extra trouble.


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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why Settle?

Settlement is what you do when someone dies.  All too often, clients come to me to plan for their own estates, and, as we explore the estate - what accounts are there?  what property do you have?   We learn that some of their property is actually still titled to people who are dead.


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Sunday, December 2, 2012

There is no such thing as "Digital Estate Planning"

Should you do "Digital Estate Planning?"  It sounds like the modern, up-to-date thing to do.  I explain that there is no such thing, and what you should do instead.


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Friday, November 9, 2012

Should You Worry About the Estate Tax?

Should you be worried about the estate tax?  The exemption amount for the federal estate tax may be about to drop steeply.  See if you should be concerned.


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crummey Provisions - Solution in Search of a Problem?

 

This post is for people who need to reduce their estates below the Massachusetts "exemption" of $1 million, and especially for those who risk incurring the federal estate tax on estates in excess of $5 million. Find out whether "Crummey" trust powers are a solution to your problem.


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Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Double Decker" Estate Planning

In "Double Decker" estate planning, the children are involved with the process of planning the parent's estate.  This can be useful, but it is not without it's hazards, when the Elder Law attorney becomes a lightening-rod for family conflict.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Sticky Note" Estate Planning

Metrowest Daily News has published my article:  "Stick Note Estate Planning."  To read it, click here


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Jennifer A. Deland, Counselor-at-Law advises clients throughout the Metrowest area, including Holliston, Hopkinton, Milford, Medway, Medfield, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Sherborn, Dover, Southborough, Sudbury and Westborough.

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