If you are wondering whether now is the time to consult with an accomplished estate planning attorney, the answer is Yes. Though you can plan your estate at any time, the earlier you get started, the more likely you are to successfully meet your goals and have your wishes followed. If you reside in the Metrowest area of Massachusetts, Jennifer A. Deland is well-prepared to help you get started on an estate plan that protects your assets and your future.
Our legal team is also happy to help you administer someone else’s estate if you have been named as their personal representative. We regularly assist in probate and estate administration and the multiple tasks involved. Our guidance will help you handle your duties without stress.
Benefits of Estate Planning with Deland Law Office
Jennifer Deland is truly a Counselor-at-Law. She is knowledgeable about federal and state law and well-versed in all issues related to trusts and estates. They draft clearly worded estate planning documents and are able to help you make decisions that are best for you and your family. More than that, they can explain complex issues in easily understandable terms so that you feel comfortable participating in the estate planning process.
Our attorneys are skilled, efficient, and trustworthy; both are committed to treating clients with respect and compassion. When you come to Deland Law Office, you will receive the personal attention you deserve. Whether you are a young adult taking hold of your life, a middle-aged person envisioning your retirement or a senior concerned about long-term care planning, we are here to advise and support you.
Essential Elements of Estate Planning
We will assist you in:
- Drafting a will to  designate your personal representative (executor),  name your beneficiaries and the assets they will receive and  name a guardian for your minor children
- Dealing with probate, the process through which a will is validated, or preparing to avoid probate (it can be time-consuming and expensive) through joint ownership, accounts with designated beneficiaries, or accounts “payable on death” (POD).
- Creating a trust to protect your assets from excessive taxation, creditors, divorcing spouses, and lawsuits
Having us at your side will ensure that your estate is managed in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
There are two basic types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable.
Revocable trusts, also known as “living trusts,” offer the advantage of avoiding the complications and expense of probate, while preserving privacy, since trusts, unlike wills, are not public documents.
Irrevocable trusts, on the other hand, protect your assets from taxation and from being used to pay lawsuit settlements because such trusts take your assets out of your name. It should be remembered, however, that irrevocable trusts, as their title clearly states, cannot (with very rare exceptions) be changed.
Trusts That Serve Multiple Purposes
Within these two basic categories, there are numerous types of trusts, each designed for a particular purpose. Our estate planning attorneys will explain which of them will be most helpful in your situation.
A special needs trust will provide your special needs child with access to financial resources while protecting their right to receive government benefits (e.g. Medicaid/MassHealth). A spendthrift trust, in contrast, will manage the funds of an adult beneficiary who is irresponsible with money or who has a problem with substance abuse or gambling, keeping them from squandering their inheritance.
Other trusts that may be right in your individual case include:
- Trusts for minors
- IRA trusts
- Gift trusts
- Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT)
- Charitable trusts
- Marital trusts
- Generation-skipping trusts
- Pet trusts
Planning for Unexpected Events
An important part of the estate planning process focuses on protecting you and your family in case the unthinkable happens and you become incapacitated. The reality is that anyone at any age can be incapacitated as a result of an accident, a catastrophic medical event (e.g. heart attack or stroke) or the progression of a disabling illness. Though such things are troubling to imagine, working with one of our empathic attorneys will provide you with the reassurance that you are doing everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones in case of catastrophe.
When you work with our competent, caring estate planning attorneys, we will ensure that the necessary documents are drafted and signed. Such documents include those involving:
- Power of Attorney
- HIPAA Authorization
- Health Care Proxy
- Living Will (including possible organ donation)
- Business Succession Plan
At Deland Law Office, we make your priorities our priorities. Our insight and well-honed legal skills will help you to ensure that in the event of a calamity:
- Your minor children will be well-tended
- An especially vulnerable adult in your family will be protected physically and financially
- Your financial/legal matters will be taken over by the responsible party of your choice
- Your closest family members will have access to your medical data and physicians
- You will receive only the medical interventions you have requested if you are critically ill
- Your business will be managed by individuals you have chosen while you are out of commission
Contact Our Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys Today
Taking steps to organize your life and protect your family is empowering. However, it pays to remember that life is constantly changing, so your estate plan has to be reviewed and possibly revised on a regular basis. Circumstances can change in a short period of time, altered by marriage, divorce, remarriage, birth or adoption, death in the family, the establishment of a new business, receiving a sizable inheritance, getting a big promotion or losing a job.
Preparing for such eventualities is the best way to protect your accumulated assets, the well-being of those you love, and your own sense of dignity and control. Contact Jennifer Deland now so we can begin customizing an estate plan just for you.
Jennifer A. Deland, Counselor-at-Law advises estate planning clients throughout the Metrowest area, including Holliston, Hopkinton, Milford, Medway, Medfield, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Sherborn, Dover, Southborough, Sudbury, and Westborough.