Deland on Estates and Elder Law

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Why so many meetings?

People often expect me to just take their directions and create their documents. This is not an unreasonable expectation. However, it is important to me to create the best documents I can for you. Often, that means taking the time to explain each document, and make sure that it reflects what you actually want.

I have had clients come into my office with documents that were obviously not thought through by the person who signed them.

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

5 Things to Do When You are Stuck at Home

Five useful things to do while you are stuck at home:

  1. Find your will. Take a look at it. Is this the original? It should have original signatures of 2 witnesses and a raised notary seal. If you can’t find the original, write a letter to your lawyer and ask to have it sent to you.
  2. Find your power of attorney.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Deed Scam

A scammy offer.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Trustees and Bank Accounts

Do you want to be in charge of your own bank account?  If your answer is a resounding "yes!" then you need to have your bank account titled into your Life Trust.  If your bank account is in your own name alone, then, as soon as you get sick and can't go to the bank, or get confused and can't balance your account, you're in trouble.  The banker will tell you: "just put someone else's name on the account!"  But doing so without the protection of your Life Trust is giving your money away.  Your bank account becomes the property of that other person.   That other person would have to come into the bank in order for you to remove them from the account.

Even if the other person is your husband or wife, the same rule applies - by all means have both names on the account. But use the Life Trust, for flexibility and control.  If you were both sick, your Life Trust can name another trustee to take over.  After you're gone, your Trustee can settle the account with the rest of your estate, instead of having to disentangle it from someone else's property first.can 

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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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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